Notifications are a drug

Notifications make you waste hours!

How come this little action can have such a dramatic outcome, you may be asking. Well, because notifications are awful. Notifications are what gets you lost in distraction. Notifications are what makes you hooked to an app. That’s exactly why apps want you to enable them. That’s why the first thing an app will ask you is wether or not you want to enable notifications. Because that’s how it makes sure you’ll get back to this app.

Notifications trigger our Fear Of Missing Out

Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is so real. It is so real that it is used by most companies to make sure that we’re hooked about everything they produce. That’s how Facebook came up with, what I call, fake notifications. Facebook sends you notifications even when you don’t have any. Regular notifications involve replies to your comments or some people liking your new awesome profile picture. But when you use Facebook like me, ie. only for messaging and letting people know that you’re alive, you wouldn’t normally get a lot of notifications. Actually, the only kind of notification I receive are usually related to messenger. But guess what? I usually receive, like you, around 10 notifications a day. Facebook just notifies me for things that don’t exist. Facebook reminds me twice a day that it’s the birthday of a Facebook friend I don’t care about, it reminds me that some friends are going to an event that is not even in the area I currently live in, it reminds me that my last post on my page performed better than 95% of my other publications and so on…

We’ve learned to love notifications

Notifications were used to let us know what was happening in our network of friends. And because we got used to it so much and because a notification meant that someone liked our picture or replied to a comment we’ve made or whatever, we liked them. We liked them so much because a notification basically meant that someone have thought of us. A notification was basically a small hit of consideration and a positive boost of self-esteem. A notification was basically acting like an actual drug. It was creating this little rush of dopamine in our brains. And during those early years of social media, we slowly and silently got used to notifications, and we totally got hooked.

Is there anything we can do about it?

The drastic solution would be to turn off all notifications and to get rid of some toxic apps such as Facebook. Does it work? Yes. It does and I thought that it would drive me insane and that it would make me super anxious all that time. I thought my FOMO would make me go crazy. But it really didn’t. And it had the exact opposite effect. I’m sure you’ve read tons of content about turning off notifications already. If you are like me, you don’t believe that it’s a practical and effective solution.

But believe me, it really is and all the benefits these authors describe are true.

Content Marketer, willing to put the “social” back in Social Media. Let's talk about Social Media Marketing →

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