Notifications: a saving grace 😇 or the Devil's spawn 👿

iPhone home screen

When Apple debuted push notifications back in 2009, they were delightful. Finally, you could keep up with the latest sports scores or weather forecast. Apple created them so we wouldn't miss a thing of what's happening around us or far and wide.

Or did they???

In his book, Hooked: How to build habit-forming products, Nir Eyal highlighted push notifications as one way to get us hooked to our phones and, by implication, the apps we use.

It's kinda like how we train dogs to fetch and treat them when they do good. It's called positive reinforcement.

It's all psychology. I'm not a psychologist or neuroscientist, so I won't delve into the nuts and bolts of it.

As a result of being rewarded whenever we follow notifications from our smartphones' home screen into our favorite apps, we are rewarded with the latest news, a great recipe, etc. Our brains start craving for these notifications when some time passes because we are used to receiving them.

Push notifications are great if you are a website or app creator. It helps to hook your users. For us users, every notification has a sum effect of programming our brains to jolt us into action every time we see a notification slide onto our phone or computer screen or hear that beep sound.

How many times have you dropped what you were doing to open that app to view your friend's latest post or news?

Although notifications also have their benefit, they are also very good at distracting us from the task at hand. To succeed, we all need to focus on completing our daily grind to get closer to our ultimate goals—finishing that article, website, app, or product.

Get back your peace of mind by disabling non-essential notifications so you can focus on whatever you are busy with, spending time with family, or just detoxing from online content overload.

I personally only check non-essential notifications like news between 6 PM and 8 PM.

How do you feel about notifications on your computer or phone?

Get the book here.

#distractions #notifications #mindfulness #focus #stalinkay #sponsored

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