Day 69: Addicted to Notifications

Any given day, you can find a million articles or videos of people decrying the nature of society today. They will all talk about how the rise of social media and smartphones and various other forms of technology are corrupting us and destroying us. The constant stimulus of notifications give us spikes in happiness and we keep wanting more and more and more. Any given second could be used to be getting more and more of this happiness. There is never a time when you couldn’t be doing something or should be doing something.

Every time when I step back and look at my life, I’m completely aware how unhealthy this probably is and how I feel mentally tired so frequently from multitasking when human minds can’t effectively multitask. In any given minute, I will check my phone and find a notification taking me from whatever activity I was doing. Time with friends and family are bookended by the spikes in neurotransmitters that the stupid little text on my lock screen triggers. But I can’t stop.

We are addicted to the feeling that it gives us. Just while I was writing this post, I saw a text notification, got excited and replied. Part of that is the same phenomenon and part of that is the human desire to interact with people. I’ve been told a million times that I reply to texts to quickly and if it’s someone I’m willing to really talk to, I always tell them it’s because of how much I crave human contact. A discussion with another person at any time is frequently more rewarding (on a short-term basis) than existing in my own isolated bubble, but I digress.

We need to chill with the notifications and the constant obsession with doing something. We can do one thing at a time and exist and not fall behind in our existences. Maybe for once, we will be able to exist in the moment instead of existing in hundreds of moments represented by tweets, posts and notifications.

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