Lets face it , most of us are probably glued to our smartphones way too much, and while some may think turning off notifications may be a good way to get us to take a break from our devices, a new study suggests the exact opposite is true.
A study out of Pennsylvania State University and published in the journal "Computers in Human Behavior" suggests that turning off notifications can be so “psychologically distressing” for people it will actually make them look at their phone more. This is particularly true for those who suffer from a “fear of missing out,” (FOMO).
The study surveyed over 100 people about their Smartphone use, finding that putting on silent notifications will result in people being “preoccupied” about what they are missing, causing them to check their phones even more. The subjects were given options to either unmute the phone with vibration, unmute it without vibration, mute with vibration and mute without vibration, a.k.a. silent mode. They found that those who went with silent mode, checked their phone the most.
“Our findings suggest that turning off notifications appears to be more, rather than less, psychologically distressing for mobile users,” lead author Menggi Liao, a PhD candidate at Pennsylvania State University, says. “It is mainly because as humans, we have the need to stay updated, reduce our uncertainty and connect with others.”