Ever activated the silent mode on your phone and constantly think about the calls, text messages and social media notifications you’re missing out on?
Some people put their phones on silent mode thinking it’ll put a stop to the constant distractions, but the truth is, researchers have found that, if you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), activating silent mode can actually increase stress.
Ironic, isn’t it?
People who find the non-stop notifications from smartphones bothersome have probably tried to remedy the problem by activating their phone’s silent mode.
But, according to research published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour, researchers were wondering if silencing notifications helps users feel less distracted — or more distracted by thoughts of what they’re missing.
So, what did researchers do to test their theory?
According to HealthDay, researchers collected data from 138 iPhone users where 42% of them had their iPhones on vibrate mode, 8% had their phones on silent mode, while the rest simply kept their audio alerts on for four straight days.
Participants completed a survey to see if they have FOMO and had the screen time tool on their phones to monitor how much they’ve been on their phone.
FOMO, as noted above, stands for “fear of missing out,” and it’s the worried feeling people have that they may not be experiencing the things other people are experiencing, and may prompt some to continuously scroll through social media.
What were the results of the research?
Well, according to Medical Daily, researchers have found that those who had their phones in silent mode had a tendency to pick up their phones to check for messages more often than those who had their phones with the audio alerts on or in vibrate mode. They also logged most time spent on social media compared to those whose phones weren’t on silent mode.
This was especially true for those with high FOMO and NtB (Need to Belong). Researchers add that the simple act of silencing the notifications appears to be more “psychologically distressing” for these participants.
“Our findings offer new insights into understanding the relationship between notifications and mobile phone usage, especially how the sound and vibration cues of notifications assuage users’ uncertainty and fulfill their informational, social and environmental surveillance gratifications,” the researchers wrote.
So, what can be a solution for those who have high FOMO? Researchers recommend customising your notifications.
If you suspect that you may suffer from FOMO and need a few tips to ease the constant feeling of missing out, the Anxiety & Depression Association of America has a few recommendations for overcoming it. – pennlive.com/Tribune News Service