In a bad mood? Your smart­phone could be to blame

Computer Shopper - - RANTS & RAVES -

A RE­SEARCH PA­PER from Not­ting­ham Trent Univer­sity sug­gests that a third of smart­phone no­ti­fi­ca­tions could be neg­a­tively af­fect­ing our moods.

The re­searchers in­ves­ti­gated the ef­fect that mo­bile no­ti­fi­ca­tions had on users’ dis­po­si­tion. The study in­volved 50 par­tic­i­pants re­ceiv­ing thou­sands of alerts over a five-week pe­riod. Of over half a mil­lion no­ti­fi­ca­tions, 32% re­sulted in neg­a­tive emo­tions, which made users feel hos­tile, up­set, ner­vous, afraid or ashamed.

To mea­sure this, re­searchers cre­ated an app called NotiMind. The app col­lected data re­lat­ing to the phone’s no­ti­fi­ca­tions as well as the par­tic­i­pants’ self-re­ported moods at var­i­ous points dur­ing the day. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the re­searchers found that work-re­lated no­ti­fi­ca­tions – es­pe­cially those ar­riv­ing in bulk – had a neg­a­tive ef­fect on mood. But more wor­ry­ingly, no­ti­fi­ca­tions re­lated to non-hu­man ac­tiv­ity such as gen­eral phone up­dates or Wi-Fi avail­abil­ity seemed to have the strong­est and worst im­pact on the spir­its of users, sug­gest­ing that the phones them­selves might ac­tu­ally be mildly detri­men­tal to our well­be­ing. How­ever, it wasn’t all bad news: par­tic­i­pants seemed to re­spond pos­i­tively to re­ceiv­ing mes­sages from friends – es­pe­cially those in bulk that cre­ated a sense of be­long­ing to a so­cial group.

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