Apparently, Gen Z'ers Leave Their Phones On 'Do Not Disturb' 24/7 For A Very Specific Reason, And I Don't Know How To Feel

"I do not even know what my phone notifications or calls sound like."

The “Do Not Disturb” feature on mobile phones is commonly used when you’re busy at work, about to go to sleep, trying to study, and...when you’re trying to avoid anxiety?

Recently, X (formerly known as Twitter) user Max Burns stirred up some discourse when he said, “TIL that some Gen Z kids keep their cell phones on Do Not Disturb 24/7, so they never have to face the anxiety of answering the phone.”

For further context, Max told BuzzFeed, “I was having a conversation with two of my Gen Z coworkers about [Do Not Disturb], and they had both mentioned the anxiety of getting unexpected calls.”

The tweet has 5.1 million views and has garnered over 600 replies, with people of all ages weighing in.

Of course, Gen Z'ers chimed in to validate the tweet, with one user saying, "I do not even know what my phone notifications or calls sound like."
Another user put it plainly, saying, "yeah that's me."
However, many millennials came to the podium not only to defend their use of the Do Not Disturb function but also to point out that it's not just a Gen Z thing to do. "i don't think it's a gen z thing I think it's overall anxiety of being plugged in 24/7," one user stated.
Another millennial replied to the original tweet and said, "Calling someone on their cellphone when you aren't in a life or death situation is disrespectful af. Like, what makes you think you're entitled to my attention right that moment [...] ?"
There were even some Gen X representatives partaking in the conversation:
"My phone is always on DND with a whitelist," one user wrote. "I don't have time to deal with that crap. You're whitelisted if I want to talk to you. Otherwise text or leave a message."
However, many people took to the replies to say that putting their phone on Do Not Disturb has less to do with anxiety and more to do with the number of spam calls they receive on a daily basis.
"99% of calls are scammers, insurance fraud, and political spam," a Twitter user said. "1% is from my mom."
Oh, and some people simply just don't want to be disturbed.
Even so, to say that Gen Z'ers are turning off their notifications to avoid "phone call anxiety" certainly wouldn't be a stretch. According to a 2023 study, 90% of Gen Z'ers are anxious about speaking on the phone, with some of those surveyed saying that an awkward phone call is one of the top things they actively try to avoid.
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

As an older Gen Z’er who deals with anxiety myself, the only time my phone is on “DND” is when I’m about to sleep — and I have my phone set to turn it off at a certain time in the morning. Honestly, none of my friends have their phones on perpetual silence either. In fact, the thought of not knowing whether I’m getting notifications makes me even more nervous?!

My phone suffers from perpetual dryness, though, so maybe that’s why hearing notifications doesn’t bother me that much. That, and whenever I get a spam call, I just block the number immediately.

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