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Do Not Disturb: Use this feature to digitally detox without ditching your phone

By AYIE LICSI Published Aug 18, 2021 5:29 pm

Every day, smartphones are barraged with a slew of notifications—such as texts, emails, social media pings, and more—coming at random times throughout the day. It can get overwhelming.

Sometimes, they even come in the middle of the night as you're getting some shut-eye, while you're driving, or trying to focus on work. And even if you put your phone on silent, your screen will continue to light up as notifications pop in. At times, it's like your phone is beckoning you to check if that was an important message.

Enter Do Not Disturb, a feature that silences notifications completely while keeping your screen dark (with some exceptions)—giving you that much-needed time away from your phone. When enabled, notifications are still going to come in but you're only going to see them when you pick up your phone.

Initially, DND was intended for nighttime use to keep texts and calls from waking users up, but there are other ways to fully utilize it to keep your mind off the sea of notifications. Here are a few ways to fully utilize the feature:

  • Schedule DND so it turns on automatically at a certain time of the day. This way, you won't have to go into your Settings or your phone's control center to tap on the DND icon. You can set the duration of the feature for your bedtime, during your work hours, or for the time you set aside to meditate.
  • Pick contacts to allow incoming calls from. You can select people that your phone will ring for when they call in your Settings. These contacts can be loved ones, your boss, or other important people you need to hear from.
  • Using DND to ditch distractions. Sick of pesky push notifications popping in as you're playing games on your phone or while you're driving? On iOS, you can go to Settings, and under the Silence section, pick "Always" so incoming messages won't fill your screen—you'll only see them when you pull down the notification shade. 

Currently, Android has a Focus mode, which functions just like DND but is more geared toward boosting your productivity, It minimizes distractions by allowing notifications from work apps to come through instead of silencing them. iPhone users will get them soon, too, when iOS 15 drops.