I Turned Off Notifications for 3 Months - Here's What I Learned

Wellness

We’re all familiar with the little ding that has the power to make any of us get up from bed and walk over to wherever we’ve left our phones. While notifications help us stay updated and in close contact with friends, we can all agree that they end up draining all our valuable time more often than not.

When turning off your notifications, note that you don’t have to switch everything off. You could keep email notifications on for school updates, or you could allow certain people, such as relatives or a friend you may be concerned about, to get through whenever needed. It’s slightly unnecessary things like post notifications that you could and should give up.

I turned my notifications off for three months, and I learned lots of valuable lessons. While they may seem obvious when written on your screen, it’s a totally different thing to really experience them and live them out. Without further ado, here are seven of the things I learned once the high-pitched ding was out of my life!

1. It’s not as easy as it may seem

Sure, tapping the buttons that will rid you of all notifications is easy. It’s resisting the urge to take a glance at your socials every two minutes that’s the hard part. Instead of sitting around and thinking about what you may be missing, busy yourself with something productive, like engaging in a hobby, reading, playing an instrument, or exercising! Over time, it’s certain to get much easier.

2. You have a lot more time than you think

Once you’re no longer rushing to check your phone at every little chirp and staying on it for hours afterward, you’ll realize that you’ve got a lot more time on your hands than you initially thought! Now, you’re not stressing so much about submitting that paper or finishing your chores before your parents get home. It’s only then that you’ll truly know just how much time you spent mindlessly scrolling through apps in the past.

3. There are so many interests you’re yet to discover

Is it knitting? Candle-making? Painting? Playing the piano? Skateboarding? Track? Whatever it is, spending more time away from the screen will help you find it. You’ll surely get bored eventually, and that’s when you’ll find yourself searching for something to do. When doing so, you may just stumble upon a new passion or even something you just know you want to do for the rest of your life!

4. Your mental health will improve dramatically

With notifications, it’s almost always about the lives of others and rarely about yourself. You’re constantly being reminded of what you don’t have in life rather than taking the time to appreciate what you do. Getting rid of those reminders will leave you feeling much happier and much lighter. You’ll be surprised where a mindset of self-love and gratitude can take you!

5. Focusing on work isn’t such a hard thing to do

The weariness and laziness that come from hours spent in front of the screen will drastically decrease once you’re no longer constantly reminded to check your phone. You may work for what seems like a few minutes, then be pleasantly surprised to find you've accomplished much more than usual in that time frame. You’ll feel much more motivated and upbeat, and you’ll be able to focus on what you need to get done rather than having your attention split between work and social media.

6. You won’t miss out on much

When your notifications are off, it’s natural to feel as if something huge could happen at any second, and you’d totally miss it. Don’t spend so much time obsessing about what could happen in others’ lives rather than what you could be doing with your own! Nine times out of ten, all you’ll see when you check your messages are some TikToks shared by friends and an email or two. This doesn't mean that nobody cares about you! All it shows is that, if you hadn't switched off your notifications, you could've wasted your time waiting for an event that never took place. You're definitely missing out a lot more by staying on your phone than going offline.

7. You won’t want to turn back

At first, you’ll probably feel like a day or a week of no notifications is enough for your mental health break. Maybe it’s enough to satisfy one of your random bursts of motivation, but if you put in some effort and stick it out for a month or two, you’ll probably find that the quality of your daily life has drastically improved, and you’d much rather not switch them back on.

In Conclusion...

If you’re uncertain about how switching off your notifications could make a change in your life, all I can say is that it’s a really “you won’t know until you try” kind of thing! There’s no harm in doing so, so give it a shot for as long as you can. I’m sure you’ll learn lessons similar to those I did and probably even more!

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Meg P.
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Meg is a high school student and is especially interested in the fields of environment, history, philosophy, and politics. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and watching movies.