Tonawanda News

Columns

February 4, 2014

DUVALL: A gentle 'push' the world awaits you

Tonawanda News — It’s the staccato zap every one of the 50 million Americans who have bought an iPhone knows all too well. A short zzz-zzz vibration, double eighth notes if my music theory teacher is reading, letting you know something or someone somewhere in the world is seeking your attention.

I had the idea a while back to track all my cellphone notifications — the news headlines, social media alerts, emails, text messages — and morph them into some sort of column. A few hours into the experiment I knew it was a fool’s errand. There’s just too much stuff to collate, curate and compile into any kind of coherent form.

But the past few days I’ve had stronger than usual reactions to several of what Apple has dubbed “push notifications” — as in they get pushed to the top of your home screen and thus to the top of your mind.

A snapshot of a few hours over the course of a few days, the mundane, the inspirational, the odd, the tragic, all delivered with the same toneless buzz.

Saturday night:

zzz-zzz: When ru coming over for dinner? (A text message from my mother, Saturday night, read at a stop light while I was in the car on my way over to her house)

zzz-zzz: Can u stop and buy whipped cream? (A second maternal text, met with a sigh: I would have driven a different way and I hate grocery stores on the weekend. Response: “sure”)

zzz-zzz: Three new emails (Trudging through the parking lot at Wegmans, buying aforementioned whipped cream. Probably spam, my internal filter notes. I’ll check it later.)

zzz-zzz: News alert: Bills WR Andre Reed has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (”That’s great! Awesome!” I exclaimed as I checked my phone pulling into my mother’s driveway for dinner. Reed is an all-time favorite Bill and his election puts a capstone on what is for my money the best football team ever assembled. I tell my mother this. She jumps up and gives me a high five.)

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Columns
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