Notification Hell

Notification Hell is a real place, in the deep recess of your mind, where the constant notifications from your smartphone cause real and toxic stress to your life.

This stress is caused by the need you feel to be constantly available when the device pings or vibrates, regardless of the time or what you’re currently doing. This applies to work and those pesky emails that creep in at 8pm but also life. How many times have you been notified that someone liked your Instagram photo and you opened the app to see.. See what? That your number of likes is one higher? But now you’re in the app and you’re trapped, you can’t exit without checking to see if anything new has been posted. Which is what these apps want, the notification is like a hand reaching out and tapping your shoulder. “Don’t forget about meeeee”, there is Instagram is whining through your device.

I turned off notifications on my iPhone for everything except phone calls, Facetime, messages and work emails and my world did not end. Once the apps stopped dictating when to get my attention I found myself surprised by the apps I actually used and using my phone became enjoyable again, no longer filled with an increased heartbeat and slight wince at the sound of a ding. My phone is no longer in control of my how my attention is spent, I no longer need to check it constantly and I no longer have that feeling of dread that you may have missed something. Newsflash: if it was that important, they would have called.

If you find yourself fuming with smoke blowing out your ears because another conversation chimed, another email came in, someone commented on your Facebook photo, then take a deep breath and focus on the source. Is it the message itself or the notification? Not every app deserves to have notifications turned on and you deserve to be stress-free. I promise you that all of it will be waiting when you check on it.*

*Obviously if you have a high-intensity job where you need to be available by email constantly this solution won’t work but the reality is many of us are overwhelmed by optional apps. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Candy Crash, Dragon Land etc don’t inherently deserve the right to interrupt your day whenever something happens just to bring your attention back to them.

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