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How 24 hours without push notifications can make your life a lot more relaxed - the self-experiment

Smartphone
Image: pixabay.com
(Post picture: © 2019 pixabay.com)

David Wurm

This is what the author says:

Constant push notifications can be annoying - the facial expression on the post image fits in well. In my column you can read how to bring a little more peace into "smartphone life". Have fun while reading! :)

Seriously - sounds like a clickbait headline, but it's not. A day without push notifications? It's almost impossible to imagine in our digital world. A report about a day when I switched from “push” to “pull”.

We always want to stay informed. Ideally anywhere and anytime - connected 24/7 with everyone in the world. It's not really difficult with our smartphones either. Every app sends us a notification when something new happens. And then what every developer dreams of happening: the app immediately attracts your attention. If this is not the case for you, congratulations: then you are defrauding the mean algorithms in the apps. Most of them don't - yes, the smartphone can control you itself.

The reason for my experiment: It was annoying

It has been getting more and more annoying lately to be distracted. Exception: not when studying, because I usually have to be on flight mode and lying away anyway. Admittedly: sometimes I catch myself when that is not the case. But not really in everyday life - you can be distracted in the middle of the day or even from your good mood. A lot has happened to me - with every notification about this one topic, everything immediately comes back to my head. Shit, distracted again. Shit, in a bad mood again. No more pulling the rip cord, just being completely undisturbed and stress-free for a day.

The last few months I was “forced” to go completely without Snapchat (I already have my odyssey with it right here written down), meanwhile again with. So there were more notificationsprogrammed. Now that I haven't had it for months, it suddenly bothers me to be constantly informed about something. I just dared to try and killed all notifications for a day.

Preparation: Notifications from - from "Push" to "Pull"

Before starting my experiment, I turned off all notifications on my smartphone. In my case it was very easy. Simply switch everything off in one fell swoop in the settings under "Notifications" via the batch management. This can of course vary depending on the smartphone. Basically, however, the aim is to turn off all notifications from apps with push notifications.

I'm done.

From now on I'm from "Push" to "Pull" mode. In the end, it means the following: since you still somehow don't want to do without your little companion (complete cell phone withdrawal doesn't work for most of them anyway, we all know that), I've come up with a plan. He has a good input for this Blog post from Fabian given by "Willhaben". On my experiment day, I decided to check my notifications myself (= “pull”). Depending on whether I just knew that I was about to receive an important email or a message. Then I looked a little more often. If not, it's just there - don't complain about new notifications, don't bother me. Then I look at it less often.

If someone now says: "Oh, check the notifications every 60 minutes at the latest, you're completely addicted!!" - Well, proTry it yourself, consciously not looking at it for an hour. Especially when you know the notifications are turned off and you might miss something – oh oh. There is of course an increase, increasing the interval and checking the cell phone even less often - I will definitely do so in the future probeer

Throughout the day: nothing going on?

It starts. Stand up.

Normally, after deactivating airplane mode, the notifications would now rattle down, so to speak - yes, actually. Facebook knows something new, a friend commented on a post on Instagram in which I was tagged; Oh yeah, and Snapchat has a few new things for me too. Uhh, and the lovely newsletters mixed with a few other e-mails from last night also want to be read, the WhatsApp messages in the group as well - now, preferably immediately. The distraction already starts. Even if I don't check everything straight away, because I usually do that in public transport, it still kind of annoys me.

That day it was different - not a single notification. No Internet connection? Did they all forget about me? No, no, none of that - everything would probably be the same as always, only muted at this moment. After the typical morning ritual, I checked the apps manually on the bus, and it was okay too. A day later I noticed that I forgot to look at Facebook all day because it never contacted me - oh my god. So what did I miss? Nothing.

The others hate it when you miss something

Oh yes that's true. Have someone send you something on WhatsApp - you usually reply (usually at least) within an hour. Then turn off your push notifications and you won't be notified when that is exactly what happens. And then it happens exactly: someone has sent you something important, you read it too “late” - “Do you never look at your cell phone?” It says.

In our society, we expect a person to answer - not just to answer, but to answer quickly. But that drives us crazy ourselves. I often catch myself doing it. But why do we want that? Exactly because we answer quickly ourselves. Why do we often write important, timely things to others on WhatsApp? Right - because we assume she'll read it in a few moments anyway. Calling is often no longer necessary.

If we decide to take a little more time when answering (or we don't realize who wrote anyway), we don't have such high "expectations" ourselves. Projust beer it. It feels good.

During my experiment, I also thought of explicitly enabling the notifications for some apps - precisely so that that doesn't happen. Still, I left it. Are we really missing out? Is It Really That Important?

Overall: Less "background noise" without notifications

But what I noticed after a few hours: without push notifications on the lock screen, it is immediately less tempting to look at the smartphone. Logical - you don't know if something is going on or not. Even if I didn't believe it at first that it would do any good (because without notifications you really look at all the apps) - it did something. The number of unlocks pro day has reduced significantly for me. My notification check rhythm has changed. It can also be explained like this: you check your smartphone less often, but if you do, then several things at once.

Sounds like a compromiss – but not for me. I prefer to look at my cell phone less often but a little longer, at the same time being less distracted, than to look at my cell phone for shorter periods of time, as is often the case.

Did I mention how long I did the “experiment” in the end? Less than 24 hours. For a whole week. So it seems to work and is good for myself, which is why I extended it from one day, to the next day, to the next day and then to a week. For a few days now I have switched my push notifications back on completely as a comparison. And yes, it annoys me again. Time to read through my own article and repeat the experiment.

The most important thing is simply to start with it and not take an annual resolution with “less on the phone”. You know very well that it won't work 😉

What do you think about it? Did you recognize yourself in the article?

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David Wurm

Do that TechnikNews-Ding together with a great team for several years. Works in the background on the server infrastructure and is also responsible for everything editorial. Is fascinated by current technology and likes to blog about everything digital. In his free time, he can often be found developing websites, taking photos or making radio.

David has already written 870 articles and left 349 comments.

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David Wurm

This is what the author says:

Constant push notifications can be annoying - the facial expression on the post image fits in well. In my column you can read how to bring a little more peace into "smartphone life". Have fun while reading! :)

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