According to researchers at Spanish telco Telefonica and Carnegie Mellon University, 30 white-collar workers felt less distracted and more productive when they disabled their phone notifications for 24 hours. Volunteers in the “Do Not Disturb” challenge reported both positives and negatives of being less connected to friends and co-workers. Some of the downsides were participants felt less connected to their regular social groups, which made them feel anxious. Also, they missed some work-related information, although it wasn’t that significant. Two years later, study participants reported that the study did make them want to alter their phone behavior to some degree with regard to notifications.
- People often feel overwhelmed by the number of cell phone notifications they receive.
- Much of this stress can be alleviated when people take a short break from their phones.
- People are so used to constant notifications that it sometimes can be alarming to take even a short break from technology.
“The researchers’ takeaway: people do feel notification overload, and it can lead to changes in behaviour.”