The GuardianThe Guardian

Lord of the pings: how I turned off my phone notifications, and got my life back

By Georgina Lawton

25 Aug 2022 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

We all know how it feels to have an array of unread notifications - the urge to response immediately, regardless of time or place. This article describes the benefits of getting rid of notifications.

It officially started during that strange and mystical stretch of time now known as the first lockdown, when negative news notifications were at an all-time high and the only way to have a drink with your mates was through the Houseparty app, which would be inexplicably gatecrashed by strangers.

I was inundated with infection stats, digital book club invites, viral memes that no one would have found at all funny at any other time, and work emails postponing just about everything. I wanted an off switch for the world – but I settled instead for switching off my notifications.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content