Why I won't be asking you to turn on notifications for my ‪Instagram‬

Image credit: Getty Images via Squarespace

"Ping!", the familiar sound of your smartphone breaks you from your daily routine. You know this means that someone or something has interacted with you, and that it will probably keep until later, but you're instantly compelled to pick up your phone, check who said what and maybe share something back.
The next thing you know, minutes, maybe an hour has passed and the task, or more importantly those that sit beside you physically in that moment, have moved on to other things leaving you with little recollection of what you were doing in the first place. Sound familiar?

If you're like me, Instagram is one of your favourite apps on your phone. Whether it is to share your life and loved ones with friends and family, to follow your favourite personalities or just to browse and enjoy the millions of photographs from time to time, there is no doubt in why it has become one of the most used social networks in the digital world we live in today.

You may have seen lots of talk online over the past few days about how Instagram has changed the way it will deliver the the choice of photographs its users sees in their feed and so instead of delivering photographs to you chronologically, it will instead use its own formula of relevancy, which means Instagram will deliver in the order that it feels is of most interest to you, through its own compiled data.

This change in the way that users will receive their photo feed has been part of much debate, which is why many accounts are starting to instruct their followers to "turn on notifications" by clicking the top right of any post, so that each user will be notified once a new photograph is shared from that account. And so if there are particular Instagram accounts that you love to keep up to date with, this is a great way to ensure that you continue to receive their regular content, via notification.

It has been around 12 months now since I personally took to decision to turn off all notifications on my phone and you know what? it has been one of the best decisions I've made.

At the time, I had often found myself guilty of not being fully present with those I was around in my personal life. The scary thing was I didn't initially know that I was doing it. It was normally a nudge in the ribs from either my wife or kids whist mid conversation in a coffee shop that took my out of my digital trance.

And for what gain did these brief, but often long interludes give me? For me, when I took a step back, no real gain. Other than I knew what Mark or Sally were up to that day or I had checked emails that could have probably waited until later.

Although a little strange at first, I must admit, I now just choose when I will visit my favourite apps and email accounts throughout the day and manually "push" the new updates to my phone, in that moment.

This puts me in control and is another step I've put in place to work on myself in being in the moment more. To be fully present. To be fully there, when with with those I love or whilst focussing on the tasks in hand.

And while I would never tell you to do the same, that's totally your choice, I would encourage you to maybe give it a go if you've got to this point in this post and are thinking "Man, I can so relate to that". 

Maybe just try it for 24 hours and see how it goes. I can tell you it will be a little strange, but may also be really liberating for you.

So this is why I, personally, will not be asking my followers to turn on their notifications for my RDP Instagram updates.

For sure, if you enjoy my content on Instagram and would like to keep up to date with notifications, thats cool and I really appreciate your support.

But for me personally, I've come to realise in the past couple of years that life moves by so fast and those moments that are fleeting and that potentially pass by whilst you are checking in to see what Sally or Mark have been up to today, however small, could just be, maybe some of the most fantastic moments in life, and I would hate for you to miss them.