Smartphone Notifications Could Be Giving You ADHD-Like Symptoms

If you feel like your phone is constantly buzzing, then it could be having this nasty side effect on your health.

Woman using an iphone

Ping! It’s another message from your mates’ WhatsApp group. That makes about the 50th message today. You’ve also racked up several new notifications on Facebook, received a few work emails that need your attention, and been reminded at least three times that you need to update your iOS.

Sounds familiar, right?

Now a new study has discovered what effect constant notifications can have on your health – and it’s not pretty.

The study by the University of British Columbia documented the actions of 221 students for two weeks.

For the first week of the study, participants were asked to keep all their phone’s notification settings to receive as many loud and frequent notifications as they could.

For the second, the group were told to turn off their notifications and spend some time away from their phones.

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Not surprisingly, during the first week, when the students were constantly interrupted by new notifications they were less focussed, more easily distracted and hyperactive, compared to the second week, leading the researchers to conclude that being continually hooked to your phone gives you similar symptoms to ADHD.

The study’s author Kostadin Kushlve explains that the findings “suggest neither that smartphones can cause ADHD nor that reducing smartphone notifications can treat ADHD. The findings simply suggest that our constant digital stimulation may be contributing to an increasingly problematic deficit of attention in modern society.”

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