The world is a very busy place these days. It seems like as each year passes, there are new things that create more pressure in our lives. Think back before cellular phones, before the Internet, before all the technology that we have today. In earlier days if people wanted to get in touch with us they could send you a letter in the mail, call you on your telephone or talk to you when they saw you in person. There were no other ways.
Today, it’s a little different. They can basically call you on the telephone no matter where you are, because most of us carry cellular phones wherever we go. They can send you an e-mail, tweet you via Twitter, IM you through one of the many Instant Messaging services. Basically, the way that the world is today, anybody can contact you any time, virtually 24/7. We don’t really have any “personal time” or “alone time” any longer, it seems. It’s bad enough that through the Internet you can get contacted by all these methods, but many of us also have these things connected to our cellular phones, so if somebody tweets you, you get the message instantly no matter where you are!
Do Not Disturb
Some of these things are OK to receive instantly. Some are annoying, though. If a very good friend got a new job and tweets you to tell you about it, that’s great, and I am sure you are very happy for your friend! However, we also get contacted by a lot of people that we barely know. Through cyberspace, we all have a lot of “passing friends” – people that we don’t really know in real life, yet we have met them in passing on the Internet. When a person like that tweets you to let you know what he just ate for dinner… well, sometimes it is nothing but an annoying disturbance in our lives.
So, how do you hang out the virtual “Do Not Disturb” sign in your life?
Well, it’s important to remember that it is your life, and you can control it. If there is somebody who disturbs you with non-relevant stuff on a regular basis, you can make a few choices:
- “Un-friend” them. Cut them off. If they are connected to you on Twitter or Facebook and they are using that connection to disturb you inappropriately, you can remove them as a friend, and they won’t be able to contact you any longer.
- Tell them that they are disturbing you and ask them to stop. I have a friend who has been forwarding e-mails to me for years now. Whenever he gets an e-mail that he thinks is funny, he basically forwards it to everybody he knows. Another problem is that other people that he forwards to also end up forwarding it to me as well, so I will get a half dozen or more copies of the same e-mail. I’m not really interested in the e-mail anyway! So, I wrote to my friend and told him that I am happy to hear from him if he has a personal message for me, but I would appreciate it if he could stop sending me the forwarded jokes and such. He responded to me only minutes later and said “no problem.” Easy to fix, the problem is stopped, and in the future the communications that I get from my friend will be something I know is important to me.
- Filter your e-mail. If you try #2 above, and it doesn’t work, your next step is to set up an e-mail filter to take care of the problem. You can set up an e-mail rule that whenever you get any e-mail from that person, just send it to the trash, or delete it entirely. You can set up this filter in your own e-mail program, or if you are using a web based e-mail service like Yahoo or Google, you can set it up right on their website. Alternatively, if you own the domain that you use for e-mail, you can set up such filtering right on your server, and the e-mail will never reach you at all. Remember, this is a sort of “last ditch” method, because even if the person is sending you an important e-mail, it still will never reach you.
So, if you are getting tired of constantly being disturbed and want to change it, you can. Take control of your life again, and set up things to take stress out of your life and start enjoying living again. Believe me, when you take control of your life and eliminate some disturbances you will be happier!