This Phone Setting Is A Surprising Stress Trigger, Study Finds

by Jerald Dyson

In the study, those who silenced their phones spent the most time on social media and picked up their phones to check for notifications significantly more than those who did not keep their phones on silent.

And as far as personality variables, FOMO appears to exacerbate the urge to pick up the phone when it’s on silent, with the study finding that those who experience FOMO had both higher screen time, and increased feelings of stress from silencing notifications.

As the study authors explain in their research, “Silencing notifications for [those with FOMO and NtB] appears to be more, rather than less, psychologically distressing,” adding, “Results also suggest that many current solutions for mobile phone overuse, like the ‘Do not disturb’ function, may be counterproductive.”

The explanation, the team says, is that hearing the chime or vibration of a notification satisfies “informational, social and environmental surveillance gratifications,” as well as eases the stress of uncertainty that comes from a silent phone—particularly in those who experience FOMO.


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