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How the Color Grey Can Help Break Your Smartphone Addiction

posted: 03/02/18
by: Amanda Mushro
Group of multicultural friends using smartphone outdoors - People hands addicted by mobile smart phone - Technology concept with connected men and women - Shallow depth of field on vintage filter tone
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Sure smartphones make our lives easier, but there is also a downside to having so much technology at our fingertips. From physical side effects to being disconnected from the world around us, it's no wonder so many of us have a smartphone addiction. After all, the average American checks their phone at least 80 times a day. So if you are looking to cut back on your smartphone use, breaking the addiction may be as simple as ditching color and going grey.

According to Tristan Harris, who is a Former Design Ethicist for Google, eliminating the color on our smartphones to shades of grey is a quick and effective way to lose interest in checking your phone. Because our brains are attracted to colors, we find ourselves constantly reaching for our phones--often without realizing what we are doing. The bright colors of apps and social media are pleasing to our eyes and brains. However, if you eliminate the color from your phone, your brain gets bored and your desire to reach for your phone decreases.

Switching from color to shades of gray is called grayscale and can be done on all smartphones. While the process for enabling grayscale on Androids phones differs depending on your model, typically you can access greyscale via the "Accessibility" menu.

However, here's how you will find grayscale in iOS 10:

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility >Display Accommodations >Color Filters. Then switch Color Filters on and select Grayscale.

If you want to easily switch between color and grayscale, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Color Filters. This way you just press the home button three times to enable grayscale. Simply triple-click again to go back to color.

I gave grayscale a try, and I have to say, I didn't like it--which is the point of turning off the color. I didn't want to check my social media or fumble around on my apps. Looking at Facebook or Instagram without color was awkward and I quickly lost interest and found myself putting my phone down and reaching for it less and less. I'm not sure I could leave grayscale on all the time, but it might be a great option during the day when I'm trying to stay focused on work or tasks at home.

We want to hear from you. Try putting grayscale on your phone and let us know the results. Is everything better in color or is gray the way to go.