Alert notifications can be the bane of your existence, and they come in many forms. Whether they are alerts from your social media friends, email notifications at work or that constant, semi-annoying “ding” that comes from your messaging apps – these notifications can be overwhelming and most have resorted to muting notifications altogether to avoid feeling harassed.
Thankfully, technology has advanced, and alert notifications can be more meaningful to us, helping us save lives and prevent disasters from happening.
Here’s how they have evolved by 2020:
1. Alert notifications now informs users of old news as well as fake news
Truth telling has become so important on social media platforms. With the onslaught of “fake news” circulating to create discord amongst users across the globe, Facebook now gives a notification if the news users are intending to share are more than three months old. This helps prevent users from taking an old incident and representing it out of context by spreading misinformation.
In addition, Facebook is moving to send notifications on important current affairs such as COVID-19 news. Users will be directed to “authoritative health information” for updates on the disease instead of random gossip from their friendly Whatsapp chat groups. Users who have interacted with “fake news” will be redirected to the World Health organisations “mythbusters” page and will be actively discouraged from speaking the misinformation to other users.
2. Amber Alert notifications in Ontario used to locate missing children
The police in Ontario have managed to locate a missing child within 40 minutes on June 29, 2020. A notification on child abduction has been sent as well as a plea for the public to keep a lookout for the child. As such, this helps the police solve the case efficiently and effectively, allowing the child to be found safe and a suspect arrested.
Similar usage of Amber Alert notifications has also been implemented in events such as natural disasters and other matters of national importance. While users are given the option to toggle these notifications on and off, this life saving alerts has helped get people to safety in the event of an imminent disaster that occurs.
3. Alert Notifications used to contain the spread of COVID within South Korea
South Korea has managed to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus by sending out alert notifications to its citizens of potential hotspots. Areas and locations that are visited by infected citizens are mass broadcasted, while travellers coming into the country have to update their health status on an app upon arrival at the airport. This keeps the public constantly updated and they are able to make informed decisions on the routes to take during their day-to-day activities.
While we’re swarmed by notifications on our mobile phones as well as at work, there have been developments in these notifications that could save lives and keep us informed with critical news updates. As such, these alerts are not just a tool to update us on superficial information, but have the capacity to save lives now.