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Productive, Anxious, Lonely – 24 Hours Without Push Notifications

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PRODUCTIVE, ANXIOUS, LONELY
24 HOURS WITHOUT PUSH NOTIFICATIONS
Luz Rello
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Carnegie Me...

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NOTIFICATIONS

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Business Office Home Office Workstation Notebook (CC0)
http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Business-Office-Home-Office-Wo...

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Productive, Anxious, Lonely – 24 Hours Without Push Notifications

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We report from the Do Not Disturb Challenge where 30 volunteers disabled notification alerts for 24 hours across all
devices. The effect of the absence of notifications on the participants was isolated through an experimental study design: we compared self-reported feedback from the day without notifications against a baseline day. The evidence indicates that notifications have locked us in a dilemma: without notifications, participants felt less distracted and more productive. But, they also felt no longer able to be as responsive as expected, which made some participants anxious. And, they felt less connected with one’s social group. In contrast to previous reports, about two third of the participants expressed the intention to change how they manage notifications. Two years later, half of the participants are still following through with their plans.

We report from the Do Not Disturb Challenge where 30 volunteers disabled notification alerts for 24 hours across all
devices. The effect of the absence of notifications on the participants was isolated through an experimental study design: we compared self-reported feedback from the day without notifications against a baseline day. The evidence indicates that notifications have locked us in a dilemma: without notifications, participants felt less distracted and more productive. But, they also felt no longer able to be as responsive as expected, which made some participants anxious. And, they felt less connected with one’s social group. In contrast to previous reports, about two third of the participants expressed the intention to change how they manage notifications. Two years later, half of the participants are still following through with their plans.

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Productive, Anxious, Lonely – 24 Hours Without Push Notifications

  1. 1. PRODUCTIVE, ANXIOUS, LONELY 24 HOURS WITHOUT PUSH NOTIFICATIONS Luz Rello Human-Computer Interaction Institute Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh, PA, USA Martin Pielot Telefonica Research Barcelona, Spain Pushing, predicting or suggesting? -- ACM MobileHCI, 4th - 7th September, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2. NOTIFICATIONS
  3. 3. Business Office Home Office Workstation Notebook (CC0) http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Business-Office-Home-Office-Workstation-Notebook-  20 information workers disabled Outlook notifications for one week  Focus disrupted in ¼ of the cases  All re-enabled notifications Iqbal and Horvitz (2010) Notifications and Awareness: …
  4. 4. Kushlev et al. (2016) "Silence Your Phones": …  Higher levels of inattention and hyperactivity.  Lower productivity and psychological well-beingTwo conditions: minimize and maximize interruptions Frustration. By amenclinicsphotos ac . Via Flickr, July 1, 2014
  5. 5. THE DO NOT DISTURB STUDY
  6. 6. THE DO NOT DISTURB STUDY https://pixabay.com/en/macbook-notebook-apple- device-407127/ Tony McNeill. Two boys and an iPad. via Flickr, June 9, 2009 (CC BY-ND 2.0) Disable notifications across all contexts & devices http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Woman- Smartphone-Blond-Mobile-Phone-Girl-Blonde-
  7. 7. QUAL. FEEDBACK TO UNDERSTAND THE “WHY”
  8. 8. WHO WOULD DISABLE NOTIFICATIONS FOR A WHOLE WEEK?
  9. 9.  When we asked potential participants the same question:  Reduced to 24 hours to avoid self-selection bias WHY 24 HOURS
  10. 10. METHODOLOGY
  11. 11.  Within-subject, counter-balanced order  Experimental Condition: 24 hours notifications disabled  Control Condition: 24 hours notifications as usual  Started in late evening EXPERIMENT DESIGN
  12. 12. ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE
  13. 13. POST-HOC INTERVIEW 1. Tamper with the notification settings? 2. Experience to be without notifications? 3. Disable notifications in the future? Why (not)?
  14. 14.  30 participants  Professional background: white collar jobs  Age (years): 19 to 56 (M = 28.9, SD = 7.13)  Gender: 14 female, 16 male PARTICIPANTS
  15. 15. SELECTED RESULTS FROM QUESTIONNAIRE & INTERVIEW
  16. 16. DROP IN ENGAGEMENT, REDUCED RESPONSIVENESS I forgot to check my phone for an extended period of time P02 “forgot my phone at work”
  17. 17. FELT LESS DISTRACTED AND MORE PRODUCTIVE http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Notebook-Office-Work-Computer-Macbook-Business-1814343 P07 “[it was] easier to concentrate, especially when working on the desktop (computer).”
  18. 18. MISSING INFORMATION & VIOLATING EXPECTATIONS P10 “missed a WhatsApp group discussion, where my group decided to meet to sign a birthday postcard.” A friend of P12 “was angry, saying that ‘we had a conversation and you forgot about it’.”
  19. 19. https://www.pexels.com/photo/hands-coffee-smartphone-technology-4831/ WORRIED TO MISS IMPORTANT INFORMATION I felt worried about missing notifications P04: “was meeting with [a friend] for lunch, and I knew that I was going to receive something from her.”
  20. 20. https://www.pexels.com/photo/cell-phone-in-hands- ENGAGED IN MORE FREQUENT CHECKING I frequently turned on the phone to check for missed notifications P12 “was the whole afternoon with the phone in my hand.”
  21. 21. FELT LESS CONNECTED WITH SOCIAL GROUP Brinks Alo. Week 11/52: How Sweet It is To Be Loved by You. via Flickr, Oct 3, 2010 (CC I felt connected with my social group I felt lonely
  22. 22. RELAXING OR STRESSING? LaurMG. A frustrated man sitting at a desk. via Wikipedia, May 24, 2011 (CC BY-SA 3.0). Negative: “I even left the screen on not to miss a friends notification.” (P04) Positive: “It was amazing! I felt liberated” (P22) Neutral: “It was not a big deal, since I am usually not checking notifications and people know that I am not responsive.” (P25) Social expectations are main predictor Key for solution: manage social expectations?
  23. 23. POST-STUDY PLANS
  24. 24. 9 of 30 participants planned to manage notifications more consciously P20 planned to “only keep notifications for the important things, so people can better reach me“ P26 concluded that “The important apps are Messenger, Hangout and WhatsApp. The rest does not require notifications”
  25. 25. 13 of 30 participants would use Do Not Disturb P24 said that “when I need to really get things done, I need to turn notifications off” 2 participants planned to keep Do Not Disturb permanently enabled
  26. 26. R2 .. interesting to know how many of the participants actually followed through with their intention …
  27. 27. Of 22 participants who expressed intention to change behavior:  13 (59.1%) followed through with their plans • P14 “I have followed through with my original plan of keeping only important messages from SMS, none from Facebook or other social media.”  4 (18.2%) followed through partially • P11 “I disabled for Skype personal, but re-enabled for professional”  3 (13.6%) did not follow through at all • P9 “Unfortunately [..]I haven't disabled my Whatsapp group notifications. Probably I got used to having stress around ;)”  2 (9.1%) participants did not respond to our inquiry TWO YEARS LATER
  28. 28. HOW CAN WE PREVENT THE TRADEGY OF THE COMMONS? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic
  29. 29. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic CONCLUSIONS  Notifications can distract and impair productivity  HOWEVER, disabling notifications has negative effects too  Cannot keep up with social expectations  Anxiety to miss important information  Feeling less connected with others  Half of the participants changed notification-related behavior in the long term – Tradegy of the Commons? Luz Rello HCII - Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh, PA, USA Martin Pielot Telefonica Research Barcelona, Spain PRODUCTIVE, ANXIOUS, LONELY – 24 HOURS WITHOUT NOTIFICATIONS

Hinweis der Redaktion

  • Need to design experiment
  • About 3 per hour
  • https://pixabay.com/en/interview-people-symbol-icon-1992447/
  • Important addition to body of knowledge! Disabling notifications has negative effects as well!
  • The tragedy of the commons is an economic theory of a situation within a shared-resource system where individual users acting independently according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting or spoiling that resource through their collective action.

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