Constant Distraction And Stress, App Notifications Affect Minds Negatively: Study
The average person checks their phone approximately 85 times per day, or once every 15 minutes.
The notification bar on any smartphone can be both entertaining and irritating to the owner, as it is both necessary for instant information and annoying for unnecessary push alerts. There is plenty of credible evidence, as well as user feedback, to show that these notifications are negatively impacting human attention spans and stressing the brain.
According to a study, these notifications, which are generally short in duration, can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts or mind wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance. The researchers have found that cellular phone notifications alone significantly disrupted performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants did not directly interact with a mobile device during the task.
Smartphones are used by approximately two billion people worldwide, with over half of the population in developed countries relying on them daily, and the average person checks their phone 85 times per day, or roughly once every 15 minutes. Previously, estimated levels of smartphone use were linked to sleep, interpersonal relationships, driving safety, and personality. Now that use has skyrocketed, it has a direct impact on attention span at all times.
According to ScienceAlert, your attention is likely to wander from what you're doing every 15 minutes or so. The issue is that it can take several minutes to fully regain your concentration after being interrupted by your phone. And study data suggests that people compensate for interruptions by working faster, but this comes at a price: experiencing more stress, higher frustration, time pressure, and effort.
There are several methods for regaining the long attention span and breaking the smartphone addiction cycle, ranging from taking a screen break to uninstalling distracting apps. Nothing will magically solve the problem, especially if you're already a frequent checker, but behaviour modification can definitely help.