I make a conscious effort to not look at my phone all the time. The fact that devices have become so powerful over the years, and jam-packed with so much to do, makes them an easy escape portal from just about everything. Whether it's a mobile game, a social network, or just browsing the internet, there is always something to do on your phone.
I've tried to reduce my time just scanning through Twitter over the years, which has definitely helped reduce my time staring at the smartphone screen. I've removed a few different social networking apps from my phone, which helped with battery life, too. And while I definitely play a lot of games, I typically restrain myself to just playing for a couple of minutes in between other events.
But then there are the notifications.
Notifications have gotten a lot worse recently. I’ve got an Android tablet at home, one that is used solely to control what I watch on TV, and that thing is weighed down by a ridiculous number of pointless, garbage notifications. TV apps that tell me to watch this one show’s newest episode — after I’ve already watched it. Notifications for just about anything and everything.
“How are you liking this app?”
It isn’t just Android, either. iOS has the same issues because it’s an app problem, not a platform one. Some apps are just designed to pester the user, letting them know of the smallest detail. It can be wildly frustrating, especially if the thing your phone is notifying you of isn’t something you’re particularly interested in.
Of course, what you’re interested in and what you want to get notified of might be very different than what I’m okay with. I don’t even have notifications turned on for news updates about my favorite sports teams, and I can’t stand pushed content from mobile games at all.
Luckily it’s easy enough to turn off notifications for apps, which is a nice benefit from Android and iOS. And in the cases where an app gives me an option to receive them or not the first time I start it up, I will always select the no option.
I don’t even have an email app installed on my phone anymore, because the deluge there is unbearable. This has helped with my notification stress a great deal. I wish I had done it sooner.
But, I am curious about what you do to control the tide of notifications on your device(s). Do you turn on a function to make your phone go quiet over a set period of time? Do you just turn them off on an app-by-app basis? Or do you let all the notifications come in all the time? Let me know!