the bell icon

It’s so hard to resist clicking the bell icon on our screens. It seduces us to either sign up for notifications or access them, and against our better judgment, we click on it. The society ingrains the fear of missing out (FOMO) so much into us that we feel compelled to click on it.

On Facebook (and other social media), when we see a number beside the bell icon, we feel a heightened sense of importance. We fall into the trap of faux validation. We want to fuel our ego with the reactions, comments and likes to our posts. We feel a rush of dopamine and a spike of pleasure that feels so good in the moment, that we keep clicking on the icon again and again.

But we also get sucked in the vortex of unconscious scrolling and end up wasting our precious time and attention. We end regretting later wishing we would never have gotten into the rabbit hole, but then it’s too late. We’ve lost our precious time and attention thanks to the ploy of evil geniuses sitting behind the computer screens in the buildings helmed by the tech giants at Silicon Valley.

They fulfilled their quest and mission to rob us of our attention, while we sit in regret mustering the courage and willpower to bring back our lost focus in order to do things that actually matter.

If you go on YouTube, at the end of certain videos you’ll come across the message of hitting the bell icon. You may subscribe but it’s best not to click on the bell icon, otherwise you would be signing up for constant distractions no matter how useful you think the content is.

We need to be wary of the bell icon. We think it may be working for us, but it’s working for the evil schemes of attention engineers. These icons are like Skrulls, shapeshifting to other icons — for instance the heart symbol on Instagram — so that they infiltrate our personal digital space and use our precious resources. Even if they fulfill our human need to feel loved, appreciated and validated, we need to refrain from clicking them.

We all have been through times when we click the bell icon and get nothing but irrelevant notifications. We feel bad that we got fooled but we still click them the next time.

We need to look at bell icons not as avenues to get notified, but as gateways of incessant distractions and disturbances, as tiny digital black holes that suck and ingest our focus and attention that we could have used towards other fulfilling endeavors.

We can’t keep falling in the trap again and again; we need to find the strength within us and control our innate curiosity, so that we detach from these bell icons across various social media and digital platforms.

When there are too many bells around, whether it’s in real life or in the digital realm, it leads to annoyance and noise. That’s why, it’s best to minimize our contact with the bell icon so that we are able to protect our well-being, enhance our productivity and get back to living and working with depth and unwavering focus.