Smartphone Notifications Kill Your Concentration - InformationWeek

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Smartphone Notifications Kill Your Concentration
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jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2015 | 12:23:13 PM
Distraction!
As I sit here reading this article my phone, on the table a few inches away, is beeping, making various "alert" sounds I have programmed, and some I haven't programmed, vibrating, and sometimes ALL of these at the same time.  If the phone rings now it just might have to answer itself out of fear.

All of this is to tell me I have two moves with WWF, two program updates, a Twitter mention, three new emails on two different services, and there is a flood on the way to my area. Just guesses, but that's usually it. I didn't look at it, but I did get distracted, and annoyed. And last week I shut off AMBER alerts (sorry, too much noise and smoke),  and a few others. But some I need, and others I can't seem to silence.

One of the things we like about our smartphones is that the are easier to use than our PCs – no lengthy booting up, Apps are easier than programs, fits in the palm of my hand, has great functions, it makes CALLS, etc.

But distracting it is. As are any information or communication systems which  don't sit silently.  The old house telephone, when it rings, is the king of distraction. Especially when they had the old, loud BELLS and not the calmer, quieter tones.

>> This raises a significant question: Can notifications received by a phone in one's car produce distraction comparable to active phone use in the vehicle?

The answer is going to be "yes" with some caveats. 

Distracted workers make for less productivity and maybe less creativity. Distracted drivers = death.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2015 | 1:27:05 PM
Re: Distraction!
I know when I get a notification and for whatever reason I am unable to check it I am driven nuts.

I can't imagine those who are able to live with hundreds of notifications per day – I have done a really good job on my laptop and phone in making sure there are as few notifications as possible – only the ones that are really important set my devices off. 
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2015 | 6:07:03 PM
Re: Distraction!
It's also the interactivity that forces people to respond and/or monitor messages and alerts.

 
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
7/12/2015 | 2:54:27 AM
Re: Distraction!
"Mobile phone notifications alone are enough to distract us from the task at hand, even if we try to ignore them." I love this statement. Sometimes these notifications are related to Facebook or the personal email. These will definitely distract your concentration. 
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
7/12/2015 | 2:59:41 AM
Re: Distraction!
Good point. I used to keep the notifications in silent mode.  However there were few instances where I was late for few meetings due to this. As usual these will have both positive and negative consequences.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
7/12/2015 | 5:42:38 AM
Re: Distraction!
jastroff, As you said in your comment, you can program your phone to alert you of what to want only. This means that all those alerts that are not really important and you have mentioned could be easily deleted them from your alert choices, right? You can also set your phone to silent when you want to focus on something and don't want to receive any notification. You have all the choices right on your fingertips. This is to say that I don't really see any problem with the option of having notifications on your smartphone. Basically, it's just that, an option. You can always have the control of what you want to do with them. :) -Susan
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
7/12/2015 | 1:13:26 PM
Re: Distraction!
I went into my phone settings and turned off 2 alerts, but found that my local newspaper alerts insisted on an audio alert. I like those headlines. I also don't want to go through every application every time, or even once. Airplane mode is fine in the movies, or on a plane, but not for regular use.

It's not so much the alerts that are the issue in this case, it's the auditory announcement of their arrival. They demand attention when people may not want to give it. Silent alerts can sit there until you want to look at them. Some alerts you want to be aware of very loudly.

Here are some Apps designed to provide those filters for alerts, and other interesting re-routing.

Ringly

Kovert

Offtime

Moment
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
7/13/2015 | 4:05:01 AM
Re: Distraction!
jastroff, Your local newspaper "insisted"? :D I am pretty sure you can turn that off as well, if you wish. No application can have more power over your phone than yourself. I see you don't want to turn off all the alerts from your phone. But then. it's not that you don't have the option to not get distracted if they distract you, it's that you don't want to turn what distract you off. That's different than blaming the notification, or the smartphone for causing you to distract. If you really need to focus on some work, for instance, you could set your phone to be silent for a couple of hours and then check your notifications whenever you take your coffee break, or when you feel like it. That's what I do, and it works very well for me. I am the one who has the power over my phone and the notifications. I make it work according to my needs. You don't need to change your notifications one by one every time. I find the 'silent' button very useful. I am pretty sure your phone has a 'silent' button. -Susan
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
7/13/2015 | 3:59:20 PM
Distraction= death

It is definitely true my cell phone is distracting when it's in the same room where I am working. I will often put it in a drawer or leave it in my purse to avoid the distraction. i put it in the back seat so there is never a distraction in the car. Distracted driving is such a major issue that we need to address it now before more lives are lost. Parents driving distracted are only showing their teens it's okay to drive and text.

Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
7/16/2015 | 9:32:36 PM
Re: Distraction= death
I know soon we will have the people posting here who say that our human brain is quickly evolving to handle, even perform better, with so many mobile distractions. I'll call bs ahead of time on you.
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