I have no sound or vibration on my phone and it's great
It all started a couple of years ago when I started to feel that my phone was becoming too distracting for me. I began to go through my installed applications and I found a few that I could uninstall right away, but I quickly realised that was never the issue as I don’t have that many applications to begin with.
The only applications that actually send me daily notifications is my XMPP-client Conversations and my e-mail client K-9 Mail. And removing those two applications was never an option. XMPP and e-mail are my two primary (and basically only) way of communicating with my family, friends and the world.
Because e-mail is not used for real-time conversations, I decided to disable the notifications to see if that made any difference for me. Well. It didn’t. I really don’t get that many e-mail messages per day to begin with, it only made me spend more time checking my inbox to see if I haven’t missed anything.
Then one morning, everything changed. I was sitting in my kitchen, eating my breakfast and listening to some netcast show before getting ready for work when my phone all of a sudden just went silent. I poked at the phone trying to wake it up, but nothing happened. It was dead.
It turned out that my phone had been affected by the notorious “bootloop of death” issue, which seems to be a common issue for both my Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P. To my knowledge, it’s something that eventually happens to every phone? It seems that I was just lucky that it took me more than 4 years for my phone to turn into an expensive brick.
I was suddenly forced to buy a new phone, something that I wasn’t really thrilled about. I didn’t want to spend either money or time on a new phone. The one I had was perfectly fine, and I’m not even interested in phones anymore. After much hesitation, I ended up ordering the Google Pixel 3a. I know—it’s no secret that I strongly dislike Google—but I want a decently affordable phone with a good camera.
I think I was without a phone for about four or five days. While it was a bit scary to not be able to call anyone in case of an emergency (I was living alone at the time), it also felt rather nice taking a break from my otherwise distracting phone. When I eventually received my new phone, I found out about a new (new for me) feature called “flip to shhh”. It’s a feature that turns off both the sound and the vibration when you flip the phone upside down flat on any surface. A feature that I instantly fell in love with.
I used it all the time and it didn’t take long before I started to forget about my phone more and more. I just flipped it upside down and I often forgot about it the rest of the day, until it was time to go to sleep. It eventually came to the point where I had gotten so used to having a completely silent phone, that when it did make a sound, it annoyed me!
Then one day I decided to just put it in the “do not disturb” mode, which also turns of all the sound and the vibrations. I could then use phone while it was still completely silent.
Fast-forward a year or so and it’s still in the “do not disturb” mode. It wasn’t my plan, but it was actually really nice to have a silent phone that’s never poking at me for attention. I still flip the phone upside down to not see the display, as that would still be a distraction for me.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that the perfect solutions often are the simplest ones.