A Simple Way to Make Your Phone Less Addictive: Go Gray

I hadn’t realized just how addictive the colors of my phone are until I changed the its settings to Grayscale. GONE was the candy-like hook that keeps me loving to look at my phone. It looked strangely…uninteresting. As Nellie Bowles of the New York Times described it in Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone?:

I feel more in control of my phone, which now looks like a tool rather than a toy.

It’s the upshot of her report on the latest strategy for combatting phone addiction: enabling grayscale. In it, she delves into just what the delicious colors on our phones are designed to do, citing Bevil Conway, an investigator at the National Eye Institute who researches color and emotion:

If you have lots of color and contrast then you’re under a constant state of attentional recruitment. Your attentional system is constantly going, ‘Look look look over here.’ 



The change of phone experience is so extreme, I recommend trying it.  It’s something of a revelation.

The Lifehacker article Change Your Screen to Grayscale to Combat Phone Addiction gives the basic approach as to how to enable grayscale (which may differ according to what kind of phone you have): through the phones Accessibility settings.

In iOS 10, typically, you access it through Settings>General>Accessibility>Display Accomodations>Color Filters . You turn on Color Filters and select Grayscale.   Then, to be able to easily toggle back and forth between color and grayscale, under Accessibility go to Accessibility Shortcut to set up a toggle.  I did this right away after I went to take a photo and saw it only in black and white, which made it difficult for me to compose it.


Gif via The New York Times:  Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone?:

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