Mo Bitar

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Notes to self. Working on Standard Notes, a simple and private notes app.

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Hardcoded

February 20, 2018

There is one recurring aspect of my life that always shackles me. My dependence on external activity. Notifications.

Notifications of themselves carry no meaning and have no inherent value. I had been in one very particular setting so uncontrollably enamored by the interfacial beauty of a notification, that I glorified and fell weak at all the powers it had on me. Is it the font color? The way it says that word? No, it’s the dopameaning we’ve ascribed to that particular shape on a screen.

I don’t have to go into detail about which nature of notifications have me personally enslaved. It’s arbitrary. But we all know the sort. Some days, I live wholly notification-to-notification. I smoke them more habitually than a stone-hooked three-pack-a-day smoker. In between, it’s that scratching anxiety. When will I have the next one? How about..now!

Of course, it’s all glory and self-ejaculation until you flip your phone and…nothing. A sour punch in the face. Really?

Any reasonable person observing this behavior in themselves would immediately be appalled at its inelegance and correct it at once. But, I never notice it. I never notice it’s happening, until precisely all the damage has been done. Knocked out, misshapen, and heavily inclined to the ground, I start to figure something must be wrong.

And it’s painfully glaring once you notice it.

Earlier today, I took steps to cull the notifications that make it to the fore of my attention. I don’t need to know everything the second it happens. It can wait. I’ve replaced my real-time reports of business activity with daily reports that email me once in the morning everything I need to know. I figure this way, you can only be insulted once.

I’ve even hardcoded positive messages like “you had #{num_signups} yesterday, which is fantastic” and “your recurring revenue total is #{total}, which is excellent, and means you can continue doing this for a long time to come.” I've even made a weekly report with a postscript that reminds me something I so easily forget: "Keep doing what you're doing. This is it. You're already here. Just do the best work you can, every day."

I figure, if we’re so gullible as to be furiously enthralled with a bubble on a screen, might as well spin the story and craft a nice little narrative around it. My petty brain will fall for shit like that any day of the week.


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