I recently read something about using the accessibility feature on a phone to turn everything grayscale, in an effort to combat addiction:
I’ve been gray for a couple days, and it’s remarkable how well it has eased my twitchy phone checking, suggesting that one way to break phone attachment may be to, essentially, make my phone a little worse. We’re simple animals, excited by bright colors, it turns out.
Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and Google know this, and they have increasingly been turning to the field of applied neuroscience to see how exactly brains respond to color in the apps, what brings pleasure and what keeps the eye. New research shows how important color is to our understanding of priorities and emotion.
I use my phone a lot, so this idea is interesting to me. Today’s the second day I’m setting my phone to grayscale (it’s a Samsung S7 Edge, and the option is in Settings > Accessibility > Vision, then toggle the “Grayscale” option).
I’m planning to do this for a month to see how it goes. Some quick impressions:
- This makes my phone feels more minimalist, and I somehow like it,
- Things are less enticing to buy when you see a catalog on the phone in grayscale,
- Most of what I do on phone is reading, and text being in grayscale doesn’t really change much,
- It makes it harder to upload pictures to Instagram because I don’t know if the picture will look good on it.
So far I haven’t really noticed a decrease of usage because of the color setting; I do consciously do other things to reduce phone usage, but I don’t know if this hack is helping or not yet.