Do Not Disturb has snuck back into my life

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| November 21, 2013

There are so many features out there, from phone to phone, from platform to platform, that sometimes I lose a few of them in the transition between all those different devices. Despite the fact that when I get a new phone, or go back to an old phone, I know all there is to know about it buried deep in my head, sometimes my unconscious mind just sometimes refuses to remember some key details. Usually because it probably assumes I don't want it, or don't need to know it at that particular time.

For example, if you picked up an HTC One way back at its launch, and for some reason you just didn't use the built-in Zoe feature, you may have forgotten about its existence all these months later -- even if you knew, deep in your mind, that it existed the whole time. It's like a nice surprise when you find it again. Early (or late!) Christmas!

Some features get buried, and it can be worse depending on what phone you have. Just think back to any situation where you've had the same phone as someone else, someone you know personally, and you're doing something on your device. You start using a feature that you use constantly, and your friend sees it and exclaims, "I completely forgot it could do that!"

That was me the other night. I met up with a friend for a hockey game, and while we were waiting for the first puck drop, he was busy messing around with his phone. When he finished, he said he was done, and put the phone in his pocket. I looked at him and asked what he was doing. In a matter-of-fact voice, he told me that he put his phone into Do Not Disturb mode, so that he didn't get any annoying notifications during the game.

I just stared at him. I had completely forgotten that feature existed.

Which is odd, since when I'm using the iPhone I'm usually in the Settings menu at least once a day and Do Not Disturb is right there at the top menu. Ready to be used. But I had completely ignored it, even completely forgotten about it. And it was a big enough feature to be rumored about, before its ultimate reveal within iOS 6 last year. I figured it was overdue. So I pulled out the phone, set it up to not disturb me during the game, and I an say it was pretty glorious.

I was still able to check my phone for anything important in between periods, but nothing was distracting me from the game while the game was happening. And, as far as I'm concerned, sporting events shouldn't be interrupted by technology. It's about the game!

I've been using Do Not Disturb ever since, and it's made such a huge change in such a short amount of time. It's now on a schedule, as you can see from the image above, so that when I'm generally asleep I don't get anymore notifications on my device. And since I hate putting my phone on silence, this is the best of both worlds. The fact that someone can still get in touch with me if they need to, thanks to DND's feature to allow multiple calls from the same person to get through (just in case of an emergency), means that I'm avoiding a lot of noise in the middle of the night.

No more waking up at 3am to read an email from some place I don't care about. Amazing.

Do you use some kind of feature to turn off notifications on your phone during certain periods of time? Or do you just keep your notifications on silent all the time, every day of the week? Let me know how you handle your device's notifications every day.

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