What is the sound that Slack makes when a new message arrives?
This is something the millions of users of the workplace-communication software have likely never considered. Until now.
Around midday on Oct 31, self-described coder and musician Alex Engelberg posted a video of his Halloween costume to Twitter: he wore a t-shirt painted with Slack’s multi-color cross-hatch logo, and, most horrifically, he replicated the sound the software makes to indicate a new message, by slapping a red circle with the number 1 in white (to indicate “one new message” on his chest, blowing air through his mouth, and clacking together a pair of claves. It quickly went viral.
That sound can legitimately strike fear into the hearts of over-connected workers, who wake up to a slew of Slack notifications that likely continues throughout the workday. Quartz’s Simone Stolzoff recently reported researchers’ findings (pdf) that it takes, on average, 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task at hand after a distraction; imagine, then, how much time is wasted recovering from Slack notifications every day.
In any case, Engelberg’s execution of what has become a contemporary work nightmare is excellent, and deserves to be added to the 2018 list of Halloween costumes for the new global economy.