Curing Notification Fatigue

The average cell phone user has around 80 apps on his or her phone. When you factor in an additional iPad you’re almost certain to own and consider the number of notifications each of these apps is sending you throughout the day, it can start to feel a little overwhelming. If you’re like most technology consumers, you suffer from a real thing called “notification fatigue.”

You probably fall into one of two categories:

1. You have so many notifications spewing from your phone or iPad that you’ve simply learned to tune them out and are apt to miss a few important things that are coming through.

2. You’re actively engaging in all of these notifications, causing a time management issue in other aspects of your day.

Many of these apps are fun, useful, or necessary for our jobs. So, how to we get a handle on it?


Just like our homes, cars, and offices, our devices need a good spring cleaning occasionally. You’re sure to find apps you downloaded with good intentions but never used, apps that Apple included on your device automatically, or apps that are just irrelevant. You’ll be surprised how many you can delete. How many map apps does one person actually need?


Once you’ve narrowed down your apps to ones you actually use, determine which ones are actually important enough to send you notifications. If you’re an iPhone user, scroll through a whole list of your apps and notification settings by going to “Settings,” then “Notifications.” We all have countless apps whose alerts should not be interrupting our day. You can take care of this low-hanging fruit with a few easy swipes.


Now that you’ve sifted through all the “clutter,” it’s time to look into each remaining app and into your specific notifications within it.

Yes, I want to know when prescriptions are ready for pick up. No, I don’t want to know about coupons and savings at aforementioned drug store.

Yes, I want to know about crime and safety issues on my neighborhood app. No, I don’t need to know when someone puts his or her house on the market.

Tell me when someone comments on my Facebook or Instagram post. I don’t need a notification for every single like my photo gets.

You get the gist. We are not relegated to the deluge of notifications every app is sending just because it’s a default setting.

If checking your phone is starting to feel like drinking from a fire hydrant, now is a good time to walk through the steps above and take stock of what information your phone is giving you. We could all use a little less stress in our lives, and that may just come in the form of less phone notifications.

For more information on notification fatigue, click here or here.