Earlier this week at the TIME 100 Summit, Tim Cook noted that “Apple never wanted to maximize user time. We’re not motivated by this from a business point of view, and certainly not by a values point of view.”
His suggestion to cut down on screen time? Something we've been about since the era of BlackBerry dominance: turn off notifications. All of them. Or at least, everything but messages and phone.
“We’re telling people how much time they are spending in apps, here’s how many notifications you got,” he says. “If you have an iPhone, I would encourage you to do this. I’ve gone in and gutted the number of notifications I receive. Do I really need to get thousands of notifications per day? If you’re looking at your phone more than you’re looking into someone’s eyes, you’re doing the wrong thing.”
If you haven't yet taken the plunge, it might be time to give it a go. Email notifications are particularly frustrating and often unnecessary, as are obvious suspects like Instagram (no, you don't need to be pinged every time someone likes a photo) and Twitter.
Of course, turning off or limiting notifications is not the answer for creating a blissful digital oasis but it's a healthy, easy start.