30 Days of Email Domination: Worth Knowing

By Sol in Blog

Ignorance is bliss.

I was about to set up an account to receive City and County alerts via text message today when I stopped and wondered whether I really wanted to deal with the noise of such notifications.

I primarily wanted to be aware of emergencies in Hawaii such as hurricanes, tsunamies, brush fires, etc. As it stands though, the City and County alerts may also notify me about road closures, high surf, and windy days. Was knowing about the former (rare) worth the noise of the latter (possibly multiple alerts a day)?

The value of the alerts is being informed when it mattered, but the downside is that you may never need the information.

Not knowing something can actually be a blessing. If knowledge is never put to use, it is a waste and is just taking up space that could be occupied by something useful. Similarly, knowing whether I have email or not can also be a waste as important (high-priority and time-sensitive) messages are rare and the rest are mostly just a waste of time and (mind)space.

Update: About a month later, a tsunami warning was issued for Hawaii in response to a 7.7 magnitude earthquake of the coast of British Columbia. Thankfully, there was no tsunami, but the value of these alerts was evident. I’ve tuned the notifications to only receive alerts and advisories, the former for emergencies and the latter because knowing when there’s big waves (high surf) does have its uses.

Department of Emergency Alert Settings