Researchers from Florida State University recently found that push notifications or even phone vibrations can be as distracting as answering a call or message itself.
Their work shows that a push notification can actually cause distracting thoughts and lead to a break in the flow of thought, eventually hampering overall task performance.
According to the FSU researchers, “Cellular (mobile) phone notifications alone significantly disrupt performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants do not directly interact with a mobile device during the task."
A beep announcing a text or an email distracts a person from the task at hand. Maybe a better option, in most cases, is to actually read the email and reduce the suspense.
The study had 166 individuals play a computer game that required them to press down numbers that appeared on the screen. In the first round, the study was conducted with just the game. In the second, the participants received a call, text or no notification on their phone.
Results showed that receiving a notification was as bad as actually responding to a call or text since it hampered productivity while distracting participants.
Let’s face it, it’s the beeps and notifications that have kept many of us up not just beyond our bed time but awake despite being exhausted.
Similarly, hardly anyone who owns a phone can refute the distraction the notification beeps cause while working or in a meeting – no matter how important the tasks at hand may be.