Smartphones are a large part of our lives whether we like it or not. They are a necessary evil to be a part of this century. Evil is a strong word because we love our smartphones and the way they keep us connected with everyone.
We are the most connected human beings have ever been! We can’t help but keep these gadgets by our side at all times. Smartphones have been around for quite a few years now and they don’t look like they are just a fad. What are they doing to us now and how do they affect our lives moving forward?
If you are in a public place, take a look around. How many people do you see with their heads down staring at their screens? Do they look powerful and confident? Do they look approachable, nice, caring, and kind? If we are really honest with ourselves, we act like zombies when we are walking and trying to type a text!
A research carried out recently by the Nottingham Trent University scientists showcased that one-third of notifications from your smartphone trigger negative emotions, making the user feel more upset, nervous, hostile, afraid or ashamed than if they hadn’t picked up their phone in the first place.
The researchers 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 percent resulted in negative emotions.
The majority of the bad mood-inducing notifications were work-related, while social notifications were more likely to make people happy, the study found. Notifications relating to non-human activity such as general phone updates and WiFi availability had the worst impact on phone user’s mood, researchers found.
But, people enjoyed messages from friends, particularly several at once, which created a sense of belonging and feelings of connection to a social group.
“While mobile phones and mobile notifications have enhanced the convenience of our life, their obsessive use may have an adverse impact on mental health and wellbeing,” the report, titled NotiMind: Utilizing Responses to Smart Phone Notifications as Affective Sensors, states.
For the study, published in the journal IEEE Access, researchers developed an app called NotiMind which participants downloaded. The app collected details relating to the phone’s digital notifications, as well as participants’ self-reported moods at various points in the day over a five-week period.
In the future, the app could be used to personalize notifications, so that fewer system notifications are sent when someone is feeling down, researchers said.