Do Unread Notification Numbers on Your iPhone Drive You Insane?

Our iPhones are constantly demanding our attention with little bings, bongs and flashy lights. Apple’s addition of Notification Center in iOS 5 has only heightened the need to keep your iPhone’s notifications in check, but just how much so?

I sit here now, looking at an iPhone homescreen with no less than ten, yes ten different little red bubbles telling me there is something I need to do. Something that apparently needs my attention before the world falls into some kind of disorganized chaos that can only result in it falling off its axis.

Or something like that…

There are emails, unread RSS feeds, messages that need reading from my fellow iDB team members and even an SMS that I somehow missed when it was fresh. Most of these will have created some sort of push notification that attempted to grab my attention, potentially pulling me away from something much more important.

If I do manage to avoid being sucked into the black hole of notification swatting, then I’m left with these little bubbles that seem content to mock me from afar, gently prodding me every time I use my iPhone, seemingly worried that I might forget them during my day.

A friend recently picked up my iPhone and proclaimed that he doesn’t understand how I function with so many notification bubbles when I’m normally a little neurotic about such things. How do I manage to just ignore them, or even see them as a good thing? I mean, I’ll never miss anything, right?

But what if their very presence means I will ignore them more? Do I really want to delve into those hundreds of unread RSS posts? Do I have time to go through those emails that are probably just PR? Maybe I’ll just leave them there for now…

I know a few people who do not have their iPhones check for email regularly, or as I do, have them set up to push anything and everything as soon as it arrives. Tweet me and I get a push notification. Send me a message on Facebook and my iPhone beeps. Email one of the four email accounts currently attached to my iPhone and the thing gets pushed to my handset, waiting to be ignored.

Would we not be better just checking these things when we have time to deal with them, rather than having them thrown in our face repeatedly throughout the day? Do we even need to know, within a second or two, that someone has mentioned our name on Twitter?

Who knows, getting rid of some of these notifications might even help our iPhone batteries last a little longer!

How do you manage notifications on your iPhone, and do you find yourself getting stressed out because you just can’t keep your home screen nice and clean?