I was talking to a friend at a soccer game when I pulled out my phone to show her something. The minute she saw my home screen, she could not see past all the red bubble notifications. The most alarming, was the text messages (clearly she couldn’t see the email bubble!) At the time, that little red bubble was 485. She questioned me as a human and how I could possibly have that many unread messages. The truth is, those messages spanned a three year period. I often see a message on my watch and never click on it on my phone. Group messages – once again, I see it on my watch and then before you know it, with everyone’s responses it can rack up 30 unread messages in no time. Little red bubbles do not bother me one bit, and I just get used to seeing them there. 🙂

My friend’s judgement was harsh and then when I shared the story with Hallie, she agreed. In fact, Hallie offered to scroll through and click on every unread message, thus eliminating the bubble all together. And although that would have been a quick fix, I really needed to purge those text messages. Group messages are the bane of my existence and with all my kids and their activities and friends, it’s overwhelming to say the least. And then someone gets added to a group, so there’s a new thread and the old one shrivels and dies, except it never really dies because it’s still on my phone. Its a vicious cycle that requires some serious diligence.

On a recent airplane ride, I dedicated the ENTIRE 2.5 hour flight to purging my messages. I was able to knock that 485 red bubble down to 117 and I sent my friend a victory text. The following week, I kept working at it. Sitting in the doctor’s office, waiting at soccer carpool, on hold with customer service, I purged some more.

I’m happy to report, my messages are currently bubble free and much easier to navigate now that I have much less to scroll through. My next task will be working on those unread emails, which seems far more daunting than the messages.

Why is digital clutter so hard to manage!?!