How Do You Overcome Alert Pollution?

I started setting up a new audio interface on my computer but then had to stop to do some work. Disconnecting my audio interface meant muting my entire computer, and the effect was very nice. I didn't get annoying system alert sounds when I started searching for a word on a web page that didn't exist.

Pinging noises and IMs flashed on my second monitor, but they weren't accompanied by tones. I think I might start muting more things on my computer to help overcome the constant noise pollution accompanied by the many, many alerts.

That said, there's the risk of not knowing about a certain alert. My phone's alerts are on mute for the majority of the day, and I rarely miss anything important -- but it does happen. It would be nice to have the best of both worlds. What have you done to avoid alert pollution, and how have you maintained a good balance?


    Change windows sound profile to "No Sounds". Always, always, always do this whenever I set up a new computer. Why do I need a new email sound when I have a pop-up and a system tray icon? Why do I need a 'click' every time the ads on websites refresh? Most importantly, why do I need a horrible annoying sound telling me the computer has finally booted into windows or is shutting down?

    Only problem is, when you load up a video or even better a website auto loads a video or audio ad - it really catches you off guard.

    I've been running a silent computer (and phone) since 2004, barring when I actually choose to play something. Nothing is more annoying than needless notifications.

    Before this, I didn't react to most alerts anyway. It was just needless noise. So I haven't missed anything important that I wouldn't have ignored anyway.

    I only ever have my phone on loud if im on call (im terrified of sleeping through it, I can be a heavy sleeper) at work and apart from that, i too lead a silent tech excepted.

    Silence is golden. Opting for no sounds as the default means that when you do choose to set an alarm or an alert it will have its proper effect.

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