• GetLiving: No Noti November

    By Marie McGrath | Posted Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

Shut off those push notifications this month for our GetLiving initiative.

Smartphones by themselves are not the problem, not really. It’s the incessant pinging that commandeers our time and attention. So, attacking the source of those pings is an excellent place to start in the battle against your device. The call to action for No Noti(fication, that is) November is simple: turn off your push notifications.

A 2016 study showed that young people look at their phones 82 times a day, and that number has only risen in the past three years. In 2013, Apple users received 7.4 trillion notifications. Each one of those notifications is a stimulus for dopamine, a powerful, feel-good chemical in the brain. Dopamine is fabulous; it is a huge part of all our pleasure responses. So, we naturally seek it out. In inundating ourselves with potentially stimulating notifications at all hours of the day, we’re re-wiring our brains to seek pleasure from screens, and in so doing, missing out on valuable real-world pleasures.

You can decide which notifications to leave on. The Center for Humane Technology advocates for human only notifications; keeping the ping when it comes from a person you know who is actually trying to reach you, ie: texts, phone calls, and perhaps emails. Ditch the notis for socials and other apps by which you find yourself distracted.

If you’re in the market for a little healthy competition this month, gather your friends and family and turn off noises together! Using Screentime or Digital Wellbeing, note how many notifications you receive daily on November first. Check back in on November 30th and see how you fared. Which notifications that you turned off stayed off? How do you feel now that you’re free of the ping?

Let us know, and happy November!