The Sparrow “ding”

Sometimes small details can really make a difference in our ability to be present and focus on what is in front of us.  When it comes to working on anything related to a computer, my ability to focus is, well, almost scary.  The world could be coming to an end, and I might not know it if I am in the middle of building a web site.  However, when I am playing with my kids, or doing some chores around the house…  I can be focused at times, but certain things will throw me off.  The biggest one:  the classic “ding” sound from Sparrow letting me know I have a new email.

In theory, I like having an audible notification that I have a new email.  However, when I am eating dinner or reading a book with one of my kids and that little “ding” goes off, it’s all I can do to keep from checking.  All of a sudden, my email has a tyrannical hold on my thought process.  The sound sits in my head until I check the darn thing.  Our family computer sits in our great room, where we spend most of our time.  If I am home, I’ll likely hear the sound.  Of coure, I usually end up checking it to make sure it isn’t anything important.  Thing is, I rarely have an important email of such magnitude that I would need to check it out right away.  Almost never, really.

I am not sure why I let this go on so long.  Such a simple thing… I turned off the sound notification on Sparrow the other day.  It makes a huge difference.  I still check my email quite often.  But now, I wait until after dinner, or after I am done reading or playing with my kids.   I love it… I changed one little setting on my email client and my ability to be present is better.  Not perfect by any stretch, but better.


  1. As technology improves and becomes more standard and more a part of our daily life it’s difficult to live and enjoy the intangibles, the important things. Ill be on the iPhone for so long that I get the phantom vibrations, for email or text, and I immediately check it. It’s depressing when you’re so obsessed with the power of social networking and artificiality that you stop your what you’re doing to see who liked your twitter status (or what spam you picked up in your inbox). Ill become so distracted by the apple products that I can’t finish any project that I attempt if I’m near one. So, if I can, I abstain entirely or limit it by time. When you look back at your day, I try find the good experiences I had or the lessons I learned that made the day worthwhile. And you find that technology use is usually not one of those things. You don’t gain anything from being up to date on email or Facebook, it improves your life in no way dude unless you work for TMZ or something. And who wants to do that. Part of the reason I wasn’t too torn up about losing my laptop was because it gave me a decent excuse to not surf the web all the time. I did other things. I learned you can’t assume the best of people. You shouldn’t hold too much sentiment in materialistic possessions. And libraries are evil. Hey that’s an experience I’m glad I had. And that’s something I could never take from an email.


    1. Right on JV. Technology is great, but it still has to be kept in place, which is harder and harder to do as the internet becomes more and more a part of our daily existence. Couldn’t for the life of me figure out why you threw “libraries are evil” in there… until I remembered that your MacBook got stolen from there. I was trying to figure out the connection between iPhones, social networking, and the library!


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