Do you find phone notifications annoying? I certainly do, mostly because they get in the way of my song when I’m listening to music. And when you have multiple apps, all you need is a bit of data connection to ruin your day. And now, a study corroborates that smartphone alerts end up worsening the mood of the user.
Researchers at the Nottingham Trent University in the UK studied the effect on mood in 50 participants who received thousands of digital alerts over a five-week period. Out of more than half a million notifications, they found that 32 per cent resulted in negative emotions.
What are the factors that cause such a negative impact? Well, the context behind the alerts is usually related to non-human activity. A few examples are general phone updates and Wi-Fi availability. The research group found out that Work related notifications also affect people’s mood in a negative way. The problem only worsens when these notifications are received in bulk.
“These digital alerts continuously disrupt our activities through instant calls for attention,” researcher at Nottingham Trent University Eiman Kanjo, said to The Telegraph. “While notifications enhance the convenience of our life, we need to better-understand the impact their obsessive use has on our well-being,”
So, how was the procedure done? The research group created an app called NotiMind. Which the volunteer participants downloaded shortly after. The app collected details relating to the phones digital notifications, as well as participants self-reported moods at various points in the day over a five-week period.
Not everything is doom and gloom though, as there was some positive results when it came to notifications from friends. Especially when the participants received various messages at once. The reason for this is because these notifications created a sense of belonging and feelings of connection to a social group.
So, that’s what the report says. People usually get annoyed by the fact that notifications interrupt the important occasions in life. Often, I hate to be reminded that I didn’t turn my Wi-Fi off and get a notification saying that there’s a network nearby. But hey, maybe someday we can filter out these alerts so that we can focus on the important things.