For my last day of tracking my media use, I’ll be concentrating on notifications. Whilst this isn’t necessarily something you can seek out, they definitely affect the way we use media. I had notifications across most of my social media platforms today. I received notifications from Snapchat, Youtube, Facebook, Messenger,Instagram and Tumblr. My Snapchat notification alerted me to a snap from my sister. Youtube let me know that two of the channels I’m subscribed to have new videos. I had a message pop up from Messenger. Instagram alerted me to a post from someone I follow and Tumblr notified me of the same thing. Notifications are interesting to me because they encourage us to continually pick up our phone, even if we weren’t thinking about it. There’s a slight rush of being alerted to new content or messages etc. They provide a good distraction and give us an easy out from work or whatever else we’re doing. I sometimes find myself jumping ship from certain apps if I’m notified about new content on a different app that interests me more.
Upon thinking about these notifications critically, I’ve decided that there are two types which I will describe as Genuine and Disingenuous. Genuine notifications alert you to how people are interacting with you through a nominated app and can include alerts of liking, sharing, commenting and tagging etc. Disingenuous notifications are those that alert you to content that may not even be new and does not interact with you. My notification from Snapchat alerting me to a picture I’ve been sent is Genuine. A notification from Tumblr alerting me to content on their site that is not new is Disingenuous. I find Disingenuous notifications especially frustrating as I may not even hold interest in content they are suggesting. For example I haven’t used Tumblr for a few months and have lost a bit of interest in it but still get notifications saying, “You’ll love this picture from Vogue.” Disengenuous notifications can be a good thing as they can alert me to new content from my favourite channel but at the same time they can alert me to new content from a channel I’m not interested in for the moment. I know I can turn notifications off for certain apps but some have a mix of Genuine and Disingenuous notifications that just keep me coming back for more.