We’re Still Taking that Trip to Abilene

People who know me well know that I’m not a fan of alerts. I don’t wake to an alarm clock. My computer makes no indication that new email has arrived. I don’t do text messaging or SMS. In fact, the only alerting noise in my life is the sound of my ringing phone, and it’s often silenced. While people seem to get frustrated by my lack of notifications, they also tend to have a secondary reaction — they wish they could do that. Here’s the rub. Anybody can do it, but nobody does. We’re all still taking that hot, sweaty trip to Abilene that Jerry Harvey wrote about back in 1988.

Abilene, TXIt gets worse. The reason I don’t favor alerts is because they make my hyper. Waking to the sound of a loud alarm puts me on edge all day. Getting beeped and flashed and warned about things creates a perpetual state of alarm within me. It creates this state in everybody. We all hate it, but we all do it because everybody else is doing it. That’s the trip to Abilene playing out on a societal scale.

So here’s my suggestion. Join me in the rebellion against over-stimulation. Turn some alarms and alerts off. How many of those texts, emails, or even phone calls are so urgent that they can’t wait another hour?

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