It’s official: your smartphone is making you cranky, according to a new British study.
Research carried out by scientists at Nottingham Trent University reveals that one-third of notifications from your smartphone trigger negative emotions, making the user feel more upset, nervous, hostile, afraid or ashamed than if they hadn’t picked up their phone in the first place.
“While mobile phones and mobile notifications have enhanced the convenience of our life, their obsessive use may have an adverse impact on mental health and wellbeing,” the report, titled NotiMind: Utilizing Responses to Smart Phone Notifications as Affective Sensors, states.
The majority of the bad mood-inducing notifications were work-related, while social notifications were more likely to make people happy, the study found.
“It is clear that social notifications make people happy, but when they receive lots of work-related or ‘non-human’ notifications, the opposite effect occurs,” co-author Dr Eiman Kanjo told The Telegraph UK.
To gather the data, the researchers invited participants to download an app that would collect information about their notifications over a five-week period.
They observed 50 participants as they received more than half a million notifications and then reported their reactions three times a day via a questionnaire.
It’s not all bad news, though – the report also found that notifications from friends buoyed participants’ moods and helped foster feelings of belonging to a group.