How I Hacked My Guilt
When I tell people Ringly changed my life, they usually assume I’m referring to the company itself. What founder isn’t changed by their business? But what I’m really talking about is my experience with the product — the jewelry I now wear every day.
That’s because the rings and bracelets, with their precious and semi-precious gemstones and beautifully crafted settings — are fitted with technology that subtly alerts me to the things I need to know about.
Our jewelry allows each wearer to set her own priorities through our app (from texts, to calendar, to Snapchat), and then freely go about her day without the fear of missing something important. There are several discrete but unmissable buzz patterns and subtle light colors that can correspond to different apps of her choosing.
It tends to knock out the most frustrating and distracting feeling all women deal with on a daily basis: guilt. Here’s a glimpse at how it works for me.
AT WORK: As a designer, I can get really lost in what I’m working on — which means I may miss calls or meetings, even ones I scheduled myself. It used to make me feel really guilty — in addition to uprooting my work for the day, trying to reschedule meetings and re-prioritize was even more distracting. Now, I have my Ringly programmed to alert me of all calendar appointments, Slack direct messages from my team, texts, and calls. This way, nothing falls through the cracks, and I’m still able to focus on what I’m doing, knowing that I’m not going to have to glance at my phone, or the clock, every five seconds.
AT NIGHT: Confession: My husband once almost called the cops because I wasn’t returning his calls and he was worried that he hadn’t heard from me. By the time I fished my phone out of my black hole of a bag, I saw I’d missed so many nervous texts and calls — I felt my stomach turning with the guilt. It made me feel terrible. The only other option was to leave my phone on the table while out to dinner or in meetings. Which is fine, except then I feel guilty about seeming rude and I tend to check it when anything comes through. On one occasion, someone even (accidentally) knocked it off the table, shattering the whole screen. Knowing I can now keep my phone tucked away, be totally present when I’m out, and never have to worry about missing a call or a “you OK?” text is pretty amazing.
AT HOME: There are definitely times when I’m sitting around, and want to know when something comes through from one of my favorite apps. I love that Ringly can alert me when a friend posts a new Snapchat story, or a co-worker Slacks me something funny. As an entrepreneur, the idea of unplugging completely stresses me out and causes preemptive guilt — I want to stay on top of things and be in touch with my friends and team. Ringly is my way of staying connected to what’s important, and letting the other things fall to the wayside.
It’s hard to outrun guilt when you feel like you have to do everything and be everywhere at once. We created Ringly so you can just be. Be glued to your desk chair, dancing at a concert, or binge-watching under a blanket. And still feel connected to the important stuff and know it will come right to you. As it should.
— Christina Mercando d’Avignon, Founder of Ringly