Turn off your notifications. Now.

Social network apps on a mobile phone
Source: Pixabay

I will be brief. Do a favor yourself: “Turn off your mobile phone notifications. You will thank it later”.

We all have smart phones, smartwatches and smart devices. And so we receive tons of external information. Phone calls, advertising signals, television and mobile phone notifications. And they are killing us. Ok. Maybe it’s not that serious, but I will tell you my experience turning off all my push notifications (including WhatsApp).

The origin of push notifications

In 2013, Blackberry found a way to help users to avoid missing important emails, so they didn’t need to constantly check their invoices.

Then, in 2008 Apple made a push notification service feature for their devices, and after that, Google did the same. So we started to receive a lot of information that we hadn’t received before.

Let’s be clear. Push notifications are designed to attract users’ attention to compel interaction with their devices as frequently as possible. There are tons of researches trying to find the way to controll our minds.

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Mental healths issues – Adiction to mobile phones

You have probably heard about a problem with smartphone adiction, especially in teenagers. But it is not only with them. We, adults, have also some uncontrollable impulses that are driving our everyday behaviour and our lifes.

Do you really need to receive all your notifications on your smartwatch? I usually like to study human behaivour when I’m talking with someone with one on his or her wrist. They always check their smartwatch. No matter what you are talking and if it’s important or not.

Although it’s not proven that mobile phone is related 100% with mental issues, acoording to latest studies, could be exist a negative relation. It can cause insomnia, and therefore depression, according to some studies.

Do you remember Pavlov’s dog? The stimulus are the notifications and the response could be stress, or loss of attention.

Constant distractions – Focus on your things

Unfortunately, people are not multitasking (maybe the women, but not the men for sure), so we have to decide on what we want to focus on. Our mind plays an important role, and it will try to switch from one task to another. In this study, the researchers have concluded that the use of mobile phone is a source of distraction while studying (task switching).

Human cognitive resource is finite and as the demand on this resource increases, task performance will decrease. So, please, don’t watch your favourite TV Show while you are doing your homeworks.

Good notifications

Otherwise, there are some goods notifications you could take advantage of.

For example, you can use them to form a habit (sport, meditate), or to arrive early at a meeting. But that means you have to choose wisely which notifications you want to have on. And not all of them.

My own experience – Tips to turn off the notifications

I would start with email notifications. I can’t see the point to receiv every email notifications on my mobile phone. While I’m working, I use to check the email every hour or so. Everything can’t be for right now! If it’s really urgent, people will make an effort, i.e. a call.

Mesagging apps are other distraction source. Maybe you, as me, participate in a dozen of group chats and have like a ten conversations at the same time. If you are continuosly receiving push notifications, you won’t be able to focus on what you are doing at that moment.

In social networks, I have also turned off the notifications. I try to check them just two or three times a day (ok, maybe more), but the thing is I can focus 100% on what I’m doing.

At the beginning, you will find yourself checking your WhatsApp, your email, and your social networks in case you are missing out something. That’s called FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out Something), and you can beat it. After a week or so, you will take back the control of your life and you will just check all your feeds just when you want it. And not when your phone does.

Autor: Mauricio Ojeda Medina

Ingeniero Industrial. Me gusta escribir de diversos temas. Interesado y apasionado de la tecnología para la mejora de la sociedad y del mundo. Me gusta moverme en la zona entre la tecnología y las ciencias sociales.

2 comentarios en “Turn off your notifications. Now.”

  1. I strongly agree with you. Many years ago I decided to change my smartphone, the main reason that makes me decided for an iPhone was the notification control and also privacy control. I dont remember exactly when it was but I guess were with Icescream Sandwich version of Android and iOS 7 for iOS probably 2013.

    I believe mental focus and lack of distractions are essential for a good productivity. Being connected could be positive when you are aware about the time you are spending on bland activities but could be too harmful if you dont control it.

    Ultimately, its all about education and being conscious when one of your habits is becoming on a adiction and is getting you away from your goals.

    Nowadays Android and iOS gives you week reports about the time are you spending on Apps and how many notifications are you recieving by them. I believe that is a good start but people will not become conscious about that watching this information. We should make the effort on changing the importance that people gives to some “aspects” of their social relationships. For instance, repliying a text message many hours after being send its considerer a lack of atention. There are people becoming obsessive with the “double check” on WhatsApp. People are forgiving their responsabilities (working productivity, family care, kids education) to please others triying to avoid being ignored socially in the future.

    Cheers!

    Me gusta

    1. Hello Joel,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I can see we have almost the same point of view about this.

      In my opinion, a lack of attention is people having their phones on the table, or ones with smartwatches always checking their WhatsApp notifications while having a conversation.

      About the reports, I think they are interested if you know how to read them and you make an effort to reduce time on the screen.

      I also know some people that don’t use smartphones in order to avoid distractions. I don’t think that’s the final solution, but it could help.

      Greetings!

      Me gusta

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