It was the day that my new dryer pinged me to let me know the clothes were dry that I realized the notifications thing had gotten out of hand.

Don’t get me wrong. I love notifications, at least, the way they were meant to be. And the dryer notification turned out to be useful since I have a regular laundry role in my household. Thank God, though, that our new refrigerator, stove and microwave did not follow suit.

If you give them free rein, the notifications on your phone, tablet, Mac, PC and other electronic devices from email, texts, calendars, social media, content providers, newsletters, apps and operating systems, to name a few sources, will keep you up half the night, render you mute with bewildering noises, invade your screen space when you’re trying to do something else, confuse you with duplicate or even contradictory messages — in short, they will quickly become your taskmaster. Especially if you are like me and your OCD tendencies make you feel you must look at every single notification.

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