The Benefit of Assigning a Custom Notification on a Smartphone for Emergencies

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Some people like assigning a custom notification on a smartphone because it is fun. Others do it so they do not have to look at their mobile to know whose calling them. A third good reason for assigning a custom notification on a smartphone is because it might save your life.

If you look around the Internet, there is an amazing array of fun facts and figures about smartphone use. For example, did you know 48% of women check they have their mobile phone with them before leaving home, but only 26% of women check they have their purse? The young men that have dated my daughters would be the first to agree with that statistic, no matter how inaccurate it might be!

Another thing my daughters do is play around with the notification ringtones on their smartphones - swapping old tunes for new in order to keep up-to-date with the latest fashions and to match the most appropriate ringtones to their contacts. Fortunately they are too young to have heard of “I´m Bugged at My Ol´ Man” by the Beach Boys. I think my current ringtone is “Daddy Skills” by Sam Deezy, which I am quietly proud of.

The Scenario Known as Messaging Fatigue

To be honest, I wouldn´t really mind if they assigned the Beach Boys song to my calls and messages, even though it is a dreadful song. At least they would know it was me trying to get in touch and pick up their phones. Frequently, people who use their mobile devices a lot during the day get tired of their phones ringing, buzzing or vibrating at the time, and ignore them - potentially missing an important message or notification.

This is a scenario known as messaging fatigue. It is one that was recognized by mobile marketers several years ago when people started receiving SMS messages, emails, WhatsApp messages and social media notifications on the same device. If a mobile marketer was using an omni-channel marketing strategy, the same consumer could receive the same message five or six times simultaneously via five or six channels of communication.

Americans Spend more than 4 Hours on a Mobile per Day

Smartphone users got a breather from “mobile marketing messaging fatigue” when the SMS opt-in requirement was introduced in the 2013 Telephone Consumer Protection Act. However, recent research conducted by eMarketer.com reveals the average American now spends 4 hours and 16 minutes per day on their mobile devices - almost an hour longer than when the Telephone Consumer Protection Act was passed - and, surprisingly, it is the older generations that are responsible for the average increase.

The older generations (to which I belong) still have a long way to go before catching up with Generation Z and the Millennial Generation, but are more likely prone to messaging fatigue (as evidenced by my complete unwillingness to look at my Smartphone after 6:00pm). The problem with this is, I - along with everybody else who has used their mobile devices a lot during the day - will choose to ignore any messages or notifications I receive, no matter how important they are.

When Messaging Fatigue Becomes Dangerous

Along with many millions of other Americans, I have signed up for my local emergency notification service. The service sends me SMS alerts whenever there is a fire in my neighborhood, severe weather is on its way, or the river at the end of the road is about to breach its banks. I have only ever received one weather alert and a handful of test messages from the service, but I am grateful I have it. One day it might save my life and the lives of my family.

However, what would happen if I received an SMS alert from the emergency notification service when I am suffering messaging fatigue? Would I pick up my smartphone to save my life and the lives of my family? I will now, thanks to assigning a custom notification on a smartphone so I have a special ringtone for emergency alerts. Naturally I had to seek my daughters´ help assigning a custom notification on a smartphone, and I am still wondering whether “Help” by the Beatles is an appropriate choice.

Assigning a Custom Notification on a Smartphone

The method for assigning a custom notification on a smartphone varies according to the type of smartphone you have and its age. If you don´t have tech-savvy daughters, I suggest you look the method up in an instruction manual or visit your local smartphone store. The important thing is not to forget about assigning a custom notification on a smartphone. If - like me - you suffer from messaging fatigue, having a special ringtone for emergency alerts will ensure you pay attention when an alert is received.

Assigning a custom notification on a smartphone may take you out of your comfort zone, but it might save your life.

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