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Is Push for You?



If your phone rings do you always jump to answer it? One of the ongoing ‘squabbles’ my wife and I have in the short amount of free time we have together is over whether or not we’re obligated to answer the phone if it rings. I say no, it’s a choice. She’s just the opposite. I view Push email the same way.

Push has been one of the holy grails of mobile life for some time. Receiving that email the minute it is sent is a must for some. The entire Blackberry culture is built around it. And admittedly, there are times where you need to get that email. But mostly I think of email in the same way I think of a phone call. It is my choice whether or not I want to access and deal with the email. So the majority of time I will turn Push features off.   This morning MG Siegler at TechCrunch previews an iPhone app that may (or may not) come to the iPhone that runs on Push for GMail users who don’t work through MobileME, Yahoo Mail or Exchange. I’m sure some will be very excited by this, but I’d pass here. Yesterday, we saw the release of the first Twitter app, iTiwtter, with Push. I’ll pass there as well. Now I’m not saying I don’t use Push at all, but for most of my work and play I just would prefer to control when I’m going to deal with my email and other communication tools instead of having them nag me.

There’s a secondary benefit to not having Push features turned on beyond hanging on to a small piece of control as well. It saves on battery life in most instances.

How about you? Do you like your email and other notifications pushed to you or do you like to have it your way on your time?



  1. Sumocat

    07/07/2009 at 7:09 am

    I like push email as a happy medium between manual checking and instant messaging. The former is too easy for me to neglect. The latter is too pushy for me to tolerate.

  2. Mark (K0LO)

    07/07/2009 at 7:28 am

    I absolutely despise technologies that interrupt me. The telephone is the biggest offender. It has taken me several years to resist the urge to answer it when it rings. Now I usually just let it go to voice mail and it’s a lot more tolerable. My wife and I have this discussion all of the time. She is interrupt driven and I am not. I love email because I can deal with it on my terms when I’m ready.

  3. Ben

    07/07/2009 at 7:42 am

    Yea, I answer my phone when it rings. If I didn’t want to answer it, I’d turn it off or put it on silent or drive mode. Not that hard.

    Email is even easier to ignore- just don’t read it. I still want to know when I get some, though. Having to manually check is a pain.

  4. Steve S

    07/07/2009 at 8:00 am

    Warner: Couldn’t agree with you more. Want a clear illustration of how absurd it’s become?

    You walk up to a service counter (such as a bank) at the same time that the telephone rings. THEY ANSWER THE PHONE FIRST and talk to them while you’re standing there! Truly strange!

  5. Rob Bushway

    07/07/2009 at 8:22 am

    push twitter on the iphone is insane…I prefer controlling my interruptions, checking email when I desire to. Text messages are bad enough, I don’t need or want anything more than that.

  6. nike

    07/07/2009 at 9:36 am

    I’m not really sure WHY push has to use up so much battery life, the network should only being jumping on the tickle WHEN an email comes in, as opposed to anything FROM the phone. but yes, I agree even in my crazy hectic consulting lifestyle, I don’t NEED push to get the job done.

  7. GoodThings2Life

    07/07/2009 at 1:29 pm

    I disable Push and set my syncs for every hour. The reason is simple… I spent 90% of my time at or within earshot of my computer which has my desktop email clients running anyway, so I only need my phone to sync on occasion if I need to reference something OR if I need to be away for a while.

    Even as an IT guy for a hospital, however, any urgent issue results in a direct phone call, not an email (even though everyone knows it’s my preferred method of contact), and well, I’m OK with that.

    I agree with Mark… I *HATE* being interrupted. I manage emails within minutes most of the time, but I’m able to postpone a response if needed, and aside from calls from the hospital, I tend to let calls go to voice mail first.

  8. Jay

    07/07/2009 at 6:26 pm

    I leave push on, but disable notifications. That way I know if I look at email on my phone it will be up to date. Ever since going with a gtd strategy for managing life and work, I have chosen to control when and where I respond.

  9. John in Norway

    07/08/2009 at 6:21 am

    I have the same philosophy with regards to phone calls, email, text messages etc. I’ll deal with them on my own terms. My wife gets annoyed with me because I very rarely answer the phone whereas she jumps up in a panic and runs to it! I always tell her that if it’s that important they’ll ring back or if it’s bad news then it’s better not knowing about it straight away. With my mobile, if the number isn’t recognized, I don’t answer it. Of course, I don’t have a life threatening job like the majority of the human race seems to have.

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