THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Letters from a perfect imperfectionist – Notifications

Before I start……

I know that there is an “on/off” switch – just the same as the one on my TV.

But aren’t notifications one of the more irritating inventions in the recent years of the internet?

Mind you, it was always thus.

Notifications is just a new word for interruptions.

Many years ago I recall sacking my then accountant, great guy, multi-talented, because he just kept on answering his mobile phone all the way through our meetings:

Ring, ring – “oh, sorry Chris, could you just hold on a minute while I take this?”

Once because your granny is marooned at the top of a burning building – maybe.

But every 5 minutes, all the way through the meeting?

No thanks – I hired a less dynamic accountant who listens empathetically and has looked after me faithfully for many years.

Similarly, I recall sitting at the desk of a CEO, whose eye contact could never last more then 60 seconds, as he twitched backwards and forwards between me and the messages appearing from the far-flung corners of his empire on his PC screen.

Another great guy – made a fortune (I haven’t) – but I always felt just a bit like I was being interviewed by Ernst Blofeld.

“We’ve been counting your UDA’s Mr Bond.”

So now, I’m sat at my desk in The Bunker, at my Macbook Air in Pret, looking at my phone on the train – and these annoying boxes and bars appear without warning, either quoting the opening line of an email or how lucky I am that someone I don’t know has taken an interest in me…..

“Dear Chris, Just to let you know that all hell has broken loose at…………..”

“Stanislav Heironymous Popodopolus has liked your………..”

“Betty Lifecoach wants to you to play PogoPonyCrushCityBollocksCrystals……….”

“Dave in Karachi wants to optimise your web site.”

It’s my own fault – I have to remember every morning to go to the DND button on my desktop and switch that off.

Then train myself to do the same on my other devices.

Otherwise I’m going to be interrupted all day, in every way, on every platform.I acknowledge my own responsibility here – that I have nobody to blame but myself.


But there is a deeper question that puzzles me?

Who decided, where, when and for what reason – that I needed to have all of these notifications in order to chart my path through life?Was there a meeting of attention-deficit disordered moguls who voted for us all to have our peace and solitude stripped away as an automatic right, should we choose to have a web presence?

Could somebody pop-up and let me know please?

p.s. ever wondered what it feels like at your front desk when your receptionist interrupts our conversation to answer the phone?


“These “letters” are the personal observations of me, Chris Barrow and are not intended to reflect the views of 7connections and its team members, they just give me permission to publish here on the basis that they can keep an eye on me, a bit like a mad relative at a wedding reception. I’m likely to upset the sensitive and outrage the sensible – if you fall into either of those camps then read at your peril.”

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