Nuances of a notified nuisance

notifications on phone

Now that it’s New Year and the wishes and messages are pouring in still, most likely through the digital manner of ushering, it’s inevitable that your phone will be flashing up more than ever. Not to say that your presence otherwise had been any of a saintly assertion with you bearing indeed the privilege of the haloed existence to be ever so oblivious to the ‘pleasures’ of what the phone incites through its universal appeal. But in times like these when the even excited fore of expression assumes an overwhelming almost character it would be worth greatly indeed that one should be able to master the art of ignoring, or at least understand the science behind this lure so as not to be taken advantage of in this digitally ‘diabolic’ measures of the time.

That phone notifications might be useful despite their greater disrepute in spanning as disruption of whatever one should be more attending to makes for a case of considerable complexity- not per se though. On one hand would there be the possibility of missing out on an important something while on the other exact end of the spectrum there would manifest the unwantedness of a serious attention deficit- an appalling prospect already needing to be grappled with in all universal proactiveness, ironically much.

Why this dual residing in distinction is only but obvious a rendition of the technological that has warped the human race ever since it made its way through capturing the human imagination. The strands through which this clamour of the scheming streams though is a diversely composite construct, whereupon converges the multiintentional inclinations availed out of every sphere of the human residing.

flash of the phone
Source: PhoneArena

Asserting thus as physiological changes leading to a volatile emotional spate of compulsive existence upon which we as humans have been gawking in bewilderment or conversely amounting also to such non- present presence of the being that effectively defies the requirement in completeness across some facets of an ideal existence would be this routine rout of the individual in undesirable indeed manners of representation outside their own.

The basis of all such undue attrition of the human nature by a force essentially foreign, though not necessarily alien, would accrue through a route more than evident. It of course is a trigger upon the brain’s dopamine dominance that leads this irresistible urge to pick up the phone any and every moment it makes even the most whimsical of efforts to have our attention. That we invariably lend to it indeed, as an instinct almost in occurrence, is again feeding into the same dopamine cycle so that the addiction manages to sustain through very innocuous seeming and therefore perfectly concealed agents of that recurrence.

It is primarily upon this premise of the prospective pleasure that dopamine is known to lead to that the ping of our phones present as explorations exciting enough to occur as stimuli into which we cannot but lose ourselves. But an addictive almost accreditation isn’t the only way through which dopamine leads our phone sounds to dictate our existences. Outside of the experience in heightened pleasure that dopamine is popular in delivering, this same feel good hormone also leads us to such states of living that are anything but pleasurable.

What dopamine can also do instead, or rather along with its obviousness in inducing excitement, asserts as a dwelling in other states of emotional vulnerability. That makes for a much alarming reality- in being not so representative even of that actual happening in that point of time, so much so that one might be conditioned in fact to respond to a certain thing in a certain way regardless of the actual way in which it unfolds. How unfavourable that might be a proposition in living is only apparent, since not every life situation is always occurring in the same vein of what might have characterised its earlier experience.

The instinctive tendency that we pick up as part of our regular response leads us therefore to behave such that does not allow us to take stock of the actual situation. In reacting therefore rather than responding we fail to decipher the true nature of what had transpired. Needless to say, that is a flaw in the mode of human living that essentially needs us to be as involved and as aware of our circumstances as is humanly possible. A continuous touchdown upon the dopamine stream of excitement can even mean that we now seek out even heightened expectations in stimulus which isn’t always readily available.

phone notifications
Source: Wired UK

The thing about phone addiction, much like any other adherence to that term is that the dopamine distinction through which it largely stems is accompanied also by another composite occurrence of similar physiological changes. Everything from endorphins and serotonins and oxytocins is stimulated as well through this course of the events that unfold, meaning that our entire body composition of these substances is disturbed to dramatic almost extents of their requirement. That is a call for fluctuations to follow as far as our emotional experiences are concerned, leading to such an experience in living that is exerting and overwhelming and even difficult therefore to deal with.

What too long a trail of the dopamine delight can end up endowing us with therefore is unpleasurable such experiences as anxiety. Anxiety itself is as multifarious as can be a spectrum of the emotions and to find oneself shoved into this pit of the ‘nefarious’ outside the promise of a heady intoxication is not just manipulative, but also malicious. Imagine something as lifeless as your phone- or more truly perhaps something that serves as the very lifeline of modern day existences to find expression in to be delivering such harm not willingly signed up for.

Not surprising it is then that phone addiction occurs as a very valid form of anxiety disorder, one that manifests as an identity in nomophobia. That wouldn’t be an existence upon the notificatory mode of engulfing though, asserting instead as a literal description in no mobile phone phobia. The point of alluding though would be one of similarity- resident upon an experience that speaks of an existence unimaginable without the working flairs of a digital device to anticipate in excitement.

And yet what meanders also along this same tantalising trail of the triggered and perhaps the rigged even might be a wanting to do away with these elements of too great an influence. Attending to this want makes for a pursuit easier said than done though. With a constant stroke of the dopamine giant upon grounds growing continuously to emerge as a bit too far stretched, what alternatively happens is an overstimulation of the brain to extents that can even wear us out. What unfolds therefore is the prospect of an existence that is ‘ringing in’ quite the burnout mode of modern day stressing so that dopamine ceases to excite altogether.

Driving the entire desire of the dopamine away in delighting therefore might make for a rather striking revelation for notifications to not stand so many chances. And yet they do, more often than not in copious instances of such reference. Messing with the brain in such physiological capacities is what a constant glare emanating from the phone lures us to, even when in not so alluring an afterthought. And such upheavals stirred inside the body play simultaneously across different assertions of more perceivable effects.

Consider for instance that irritation in experience of a way too fleeting concentration. Because the notifications that spring up on our phone every now and then, whether in important matters of work or in less important or even utterly useless renditions of whatever it is that needlessly excites, is one of the most potent and readily available sources of distraction. Even a mere glance afforded by your phone through a single, slight sound of its emitting is enough to interrupt the flow of one’s work to imposing lengths of happening.

The interruption itself might not be significant enough, to attempt to be perhaps a bit too fair in profusion of course an experiencing of the ‘love’ that our phones command foremost. But bring to mind the scientific establishing in refocussing being quite a struggle for the brain, as just a second or so of flitting still costs a precise 23 minutes of effort for the organ to revert its concentration and our smartphones act way smarter than we would like them to. And in this chasm of what opens up, we find ourselves constantly ‘busy’ and quite ironically indeed, since what we would be actually doing would amount to practically well within our human capacities. It would rather be this whole exercise in struggling to direct our attention and focus on what counts that would prove to be accounting for much of the exertion that we experience.

Why then do we still allow those notifications to take over whatever we might be doing in the moment, even when it might be for that easily postponable possibility in removing instead those popups upon the screen? Turns out what occurs as being the first line of action would be a draw upon the desirability that dopamine dawns upon itself. ‘Having’ to attend to our phones- or so we might think, is but a ploy in escaping and one that we so gladly give in to as well due to its acting upon the simple premise of a feel good realisation.

Under this guise of the happening we earn for ourselves a sense of gratification. Whether that be derived out of a text from some loved one asking for our well being or a more exciting ploy in making plans with friends or family as well as conversations in purely bantering, every message received on the phone is an invitation for what we believe is indulgence. And while the natural affinity to entertain the promise entailing through such stimuli might mean a complete submission of our selves to that process in unlocking and deciphering and engaging- none occurring in as intense manifestations of what they strike as, there would also still be a parallel development occurring as well.

Multitasking is what we have supposedly mastered through our impulsive compulsion to immediately receive whatever it is wanting to covet our attention- even though we would not necessary react to it right away, read a plethora of memes that find wide circulation in representation of the seen but ignored blue ticks of very real and major happening. But attending to these popups on the screen, even when it is for swiping them to obsoleteness is still a case for our brain having to lend itself to more than one task at once.

Unfortunately for our evolutionary genes that might have become more and more technologically adept but has not quite managed to acquire that extent of expansion in crucial cognition, the most important organ of the human body does not really comply with such intensive demands. That it is compelled to do so is another assertion yet of the manipulative mechanism through which our phones work mainly through its bombarding of us with the notifications. But with the ultimate reputation of being the body’s control centre to fall back on, the brain decides to only halfheartedly- or should we say halfbrainedly instead, go about fulfilling expectations, of course in not exerting the extents of efficiency that is truly and surprisingly capable of.

In pressurising the brain to do something that isn’t its forte, our phones lead us thus to experience quite the jitters by inducing also a production of the stress hormone cortisol. And while dopamine and cortisol might be diametrically different in their ultimate assertion in feeling, they still are emotional exertions nevertheless particularly in this overinduced scheme of the stimulants. No wonder the modern humans bound to their phones are so much more prone to dysfunctioning as their human selves and find themselves continuously on the sidelines of an optimum existence. With emotions driven amok through too many a strands of the triggers working, it might make for more feasible a new year’s resolution to not lose ourselves in the phone every damn minute of our considerably eroded existence.