Death by A Million Pings

By Dr.Sanjit Singh

Yes you read that title correctly. Those incessant pings and notifications your smartphone is giving you might actually be shortening your lifespan. It is not something we the denizens of this digital age would like to hear about since we thrive on the dopamine rush of those little notifications. 

What makes these little things so deadly? According to some sources, having instant communication via apps is making us slaves to these little pings and buzzes, putting us in a state of fight or flight i.e perpetual stress. One may argue that perhaps work notifications especially from the powers that be at odd hours are the cause, but I’d like to remind you, intrapersonal conflicts are now constantly hanging over one’s shoulder.  All this anticipation of what news these constant streams of communications bring us causes plenty of unneeded stress. 

We are not meant to be on a flight or fight response every other minute. And as we all are too aware of, stress has been linked as one of the root causes of a decreased lifespan via its effects on our health. Those work chat groups with never ending replies and pings might just do you in! 

Nevertheless recently, Apple and Android OS, the main players of the smartphone space, have started rolling out features that help users manage these distractions, with the ability to mute, block or even deny permission to be added to that pesky chat group for the workplace party planning committee. I for one find these tools very helpful in reducing how many of those little pings I get throughout my day. 

So although we gain tremendous benefits from having near instant communication at our fingertips, we are ultimately responsible for how we allow it to affect us. We may even regain some of those lost minutes worrying over what that last notification was for.

The views expressed here are that of the writer’s and not necessarily that of Weekly Echo’s.