iPhone’s Push Email is Evil

iPhone’s push email service is one of my favorite applications. Oops, sorry, I should have used the past tense form “was”.

The push mechanism follows the old Hollywood cliché “Don’t call us; we’ll call you”. The phone is constantly connected to a server. When a new incoming email is available, the mail system notifies the server, which in turn causes a beep sound plus a vibration to the phone.

push email

At the beginning, it was very cool to receive an email the moment it reaches your email inbox, without having to check the inbox periodically. This essentially transforms an email message into an SMS. It is particularly useful to receive and process a message sent by some important persons, say, your boss, as soon as possible. However, as the consequence of abusing any technology, this later becomes a disaster to me.

I have subscribed to many online services both in Hong Kong and abroad. They are located in a wide spectrum of timezones. And the incoming emails, as a result, come at any time during the 24 hours of one day.

When I am sleeping at night, a push notification can wake me up. When I am busy working, a push notification can distract my attention. These force me to try to turn off the push notification during some critical time periods, but later I found that I often forgot to turn it on and missed a lot of important emails during that time. Hmm, not only the email is pushed to my iPhone, but also my life :-(.