Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone?

from NYTs

I’ve gone gray, and it’s great.

In an effort to break my smartphone addiction, I’ve joined a small group of people turning their phone screens to grayscale — cutting out the colors and going with a range of shades from white to black. First popularized by the tech ethicist Tristan Harris, the goal of sticking to shades of gray is to make the glittering screen a little less stimulating.

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.

But not everyone wants to be so enamored with their screen. This week, two major investors asked Apple to figure out how to help parents limit their children’s use of iPhones and iPads, citing concerns over “long-term health.” There’s also a growing movement among some early tech employees warning against the products they’ve built. And many consumers are starting to wonder what this is all doing to our minds.

Mack McKelvey, the chief executive of the marketing firm SalientMG in Washington, D.C., said she’s aware of the tricks phones use to keep you on them longer — and coming back sooner.

More here.

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70 Responses to Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone?

  1. Greg Mattessich February 22, 2018 at 11:01 pm #

    I think it’s interesting to see how much phone addiction is changing the world. I want to start off by discussing how exactly capitalism changes our society directly: Markets are extremely powerful, and create so much value as they solve problems that wouldn’t be able to be solved deliberately. I think there becomes a problem when markets rule the planet, and spits out whatever makes a profit, forcing the population to be exposed to it. What we want in a capitalistic economy is to provide incentive structures that comes with solutions for the rest of society. But when it comes to the market deciding what problems to solve, the result may be addicting you to your phone in a way that harms your social relations, parenting, and etc.

    While modern age technology is the result of brilliance and persistence, I cannot help but wonder if the consumption of it results in the opposite. Current technology products have advanced into such entertaining, stimulating devices, it is no wonder why we cannot seem to put them down; bright colorful icons, various tones and noises, touch-sensitive screens, and an endless supply of information. The never-ending availability of information coupled with the ability to instantaneously communicate with others theoretically sounds like cell phones and computers are entirely beneficial, however, human beings tend to get caught up in other facets of these devices and fail to utilize them to their productive potential. Instead of optimizing their productivity through gaining knowledge with their devices resources, people pay attention to the mind-numbing games and activities their device offers. Instead of staying connected with family and friends through social media, people’s interpersonal relationships will suffer because we gravitate toward internet interactions over in person interactions. Considering these points, it is clear the long-term effects of cellphone addiction may be a lack in social intelligence and awareness, as well as a loss of interest in pivotal world news and politics. So, is the answer to phone addiction a worse phone? Yes — because we are only so captivated by our devices because they provide instant gratification and stimulation, and the more new and exciting phones become, the more appealing it is to spend hours on end exploring their innovative features. When we dumb down the phones, we lose interest and become bored easily, resulting in a loss of addictive behaviors.

  2. Olivia Mason February 23, 2018 at 1:29 pm #

    Smartphones gained popularity rapidly towards the end of the 2000’s and since then have been an integral part of society. The first time I heard about a “phone addiction” was when I entered high school in 2015. Phones had been banned in my private junior high school, so having them in the classroom wasn’t something I thought was a possibility (I got my first phone in grade seven, so as long as I’d had a phone, they weren’t allowed in the school). My English teacher had told us in our first class that phones weren’t banned from the classroom, but if we were so addicted to our phones that we couldn’t focus; well that was on us. At this point, I didn’t even know that it was a thing to be so distracted by your phone that it impacted one’s learning ability.
    While I have maintained by ability to not let my phone distract me during class, outside of the classroom is a whole other story. As I progressed to better phones, my addiction has grown (I started with a slide-out keyboard Samsung and have moved to an iPhone 7), and I’m sure that you would be hard pressed to find anyone under the age of 25 without some degree of addiction to their phone. I have a few tricks that I have used in the past to help manage my addiction, particularly when I have major deadlines coming up. I have turned to deleting all my social media apps during my working periods to ensure that I can’t mindlessly scroll through feeds and posts. However, this has done little to curb my overall mindless use of my phone. As the author mentions, one of the aspects of phones that makes them so addicting is the use of colours.
    As smartphones have become more and more powerful, companies have realized the potential for immense power over consumers simply by making their apps more visually appealing. Developers can look at research done towards the way colours make people feel and use that to make their apps more popular and thus keep people on their phones longer. Brighter and warmer colours (think reds, oranges, yellows) have been proven to make people happier simply by looking at them and so when our minds see apps of these colours, we’re more likely to click on them and spend time scrolling through them. Most of the most popular apps have embraced this; Instagram for example, uses pinks, reds and yellows on its app in order to attract consumers to the platform. Similarly, Snapchat utilizes yellow and Buzzfeed uses red on their app face to attract their audience. By going to greyscale, you reduce the effect that these apps can have as you remove the subconscious excitement and happiness you feel that accompanies the colours chosen by developers. Due to the reduced excitement felt from going on your phone, greyscale helps reduce the amount of time you spend mindless scrolling through it.
    Getting cellphone addictions under control is a focus that everyone should have as it negatively effects productivity. Humans are terrible multitaskers, with experts saying only about ten percent of people actually being good at it. The ability to remain focused and productive is an extremely important quality in an employee, and simply having a phone present can reduce this. Breaking cell phone addictions is key in keeping the workforce productive. By reducing the capabilities of these smartphones, either by reducing the visual appeal (greyscale), or reducing some of the functions of these phones, we can help ourselves break our phone addictions.

  3. Nathaniel Valyo February 23, 2018 at 4:07 pm #

    I had never heard of the grayscale trick before, so I tried it myself, and my phone is now lifeless. It is amazing how app makers can figure out precisely what catches our attention and accommodate their app designs accordingly. After depriving the companies of that luxury, I feel more in control of how I delegate my time.

    I gave up social media for Lent because I knew that my addiction to it was something I could certainly live without for an extended period of time. The amount of time I spent scrolling through a bottomless feed was much more than I would like to admit, and as a result, I was putting off the time spent on work and obligations and replacing it with these networks. People do not need social media to live; it is merely a tool. The method companies use to get people to log in, then, is to make them believe that their product is a necessity.

    App developers are playing on society’s newfound desire to prioritize anything and everything entertaining. The article uses the example of how we would never buy cereal in a black and white box, but from a vibrant and colorful box instead because it catches our eye more. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Buzzfeed use these vibrant colors to attract us and, subsequently bringing in more money for them. The article also mentions how Apple made it incredibly difficult to turn colors off on an iPhone, most likely because if people stop using apps as much, Apple loses business. After successfully turning off the colors on my phone, the gray phone screen is now almost depressing to look at, turning it into a tool instead of a toy.

    Similar to how there is nothing wrong with food itself, there is nothing wrong with a smartphone itself, either. Food and a smartphone are good things, in fact, but where food becomes a problem is whenever too much of it is eaten. Similarly, a smartphone becomes a problem when it is used too much and for meaningless purposes. To reiterate a passage in the article, “there’s a vibrant world out there, and my phone shouldn’t be it.” Overuse of smartphones distorts our reality between what is truly captivating, and what it a mere image of something truly captivating. Turning on grayscale prompts the smartphone user to look up from their once-captivating device and to enjoy the colors found in the world.

  4. Lucas Notarianni February 23, 2018 at 4:27 pm #

    Nellie Bowles article “Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone?” makes me want to try her suggested technique of using the gray-scale on my phone to prevent from distractions. I too feel at times I am not in control of my phone. Often times I will go in to send a message to someone or look something up, but I get distracted very easily when I see the little red notification symbol in the corner of an app. I have very little self-control when on the phone. I constantly find myself thinking about why I go in here, when it is just my instinctual reaction of clicking the apps like “simple animals, excited by bright colors”. In this way the marketing field is brilliant in catching our eyes.
    Bowles is right in saying that “attention is the new currency”. As I read Bowles’ article on the New York Times, I scroll down and see ads placed between the plain text and a shiny Sprint ad with a new colorful iPhone 8 on it that I know is making my eyes glance over at it. Marketing and ad space is all over the internet and maybe this gray-scale method is the way to go to avoid these distractions. These companies are becoming smarter and smarter at customizing and strategically placing these ads over the screens to where people look the most. They even know through search history what websites I have looked at and what products I tend to look at the most. The same is true for apps; companies redesign logos in order to make them more appealing to the eye that makes me want to click on it, even if my intention was not to go on it in the first place. I believe this article will help the trend of gray screen customs on the phone or at least turn off the white point to dim the phone from really flashy colors. They are easily accessible in the settings on the iPhones, where you can triple click the home screen in order to turn the screen gray or default. All in all, companies try their best to manipulate us and if it takes customizing the phones to be “worse” than that is what it may take to not be as addicted and consumed with their products.

  5. Tanner Purcel February 23, 2018 at 4:41 pm #

    In this day and age, everybody is attached to their phone. No matter where they are, people are looking down at their phone, and most of the time, these people are doing it just to avoid awkward social interactions or procrastinating work. Turning our iPhones to a gray scale might help this situation, but for some people. It will not be enough. Other strategies for limiting phone time is putting it on airplane mode to avoid notifications, night mode (which reduces blue light and takes restraint off of our eyes), or deleting social media apps during times of heavy work.
    With the never-ending advancement of technology, this phone addiction could only get worse. Our phones are a part of our lives in a huge way. It provides us with communication, news, universal information, and entertainment. Though phones have their cons, downgrading to a worse phone is not necessarily the answer. It is true that many of the people who have new iPhones do not use most of the features that come with it, and downgrading to a worse phone might be beneficial to them financially, but in terms of addiction, this is not the answer. Nothing is harmful in moderation. If one has the self-control to limit their screen time and use the above strategies to control their phone addiction, then having advanced phones should not be a problem.
    Limiting phone time will not just let us be more productive in our everyday lives, but it will make us interact with other people. How often do you see others, or you personally, take out your phone just because you do not know anyone in the room? Limiting phone time would largely influence our lives, and would perhaps benefit us in a number of different ways.

  6. Koyinsola Okulaja February 23, 2018 at 4:55 pm #

    The original creation of the phone was for two simple tasks to place calls and to send messages, those two ideas have been buried and pushed down amongst thousands of other things that you can do on your phone. Many of us in today’s world are all addicted to our phones, we spend about half of our days on our phones or other electronic devices whether its playing games or actually using it for work.
    There are many things that cause us to be addicted to the phone and from this article we are able to see that one of the things that causes us to be addicted to our phones is the colors on the screen. The colors on the screen make the device more addicting, this is why they attempted to change the color to grey. “The goal of sticking to shades of grey is to make the glittering screen less stimulating.” One of reasons why I really agree with these articles, was because of the influence that its going to have on kids. The new generations of kids today spend a huge amount of time on their phones or their iPad. Growing up I didn’t have a phone till I was fourteen maybe fifteen years old. This is bad for them because if they become addicted to their phones because not only could it hurt their health but it could also be bad for their eye sights. Cellphone addiction is a big problem with many kids today, many high schools have banned the use of phones in class and some professors in college make you hand in your phone before every class session.
    I think there is a direct correlation between having a boring phone and the amount of time being spent on phones today because in the past when we had the boring phones, we were not spending as much time on our phones. But now that the capabilities of our phones are endless, we are always available to find something to do on our phones in order to pass time. Another thing to consider is the idea of net neutrality, if the information on our phones start being controlled/limited, this might affect the usage of our phones. I also have many friends who have deleted many of the unnecessary apps on the phone and only keep the important and useful ones, making them spend less and less hours on their phones. I also will attempt to change my phone to greyscale to see if it will affect the number of hours I spend on my phone.

  7. Grace Galuppo February 23, 2018 at 4:57 pm #

    Having the world readily available is essentially the same has holding an iPhone in the sense that you can access the internet, social media accounts, and apps used for work. Everyone with an iPhone can admit that in some way their phone distracts them at least once a day, if not more and if they deny it, their lying. My phone easily distracts me when I am trying to complete a task or do my homework, but I always thought that I just had poor self-control, however, the article informed me that my brain is attracted to the colors appearing on my screen. Thomas Ramsoy, the chief executive of Neutrons, said, “Color and shape, these are the icebreakers when it comes to grabbing people’s attention, and attention is the new currency”, companies are trying to capture the attention of consumers through their phone. Furthermore, companies use colors that will encourage consumer’s subconscious to click on their app or advertisement.
    A solution discussed in the article purposed that “going gray” or taking out all the color on your iPhone out, which will leave the phone with a range of shades from white to black, which may reduce one’s addictive behavior towards one’s iPhone. Being addicted to an iPhone or other tech devices is a societal problem that inhibits face-to-face interaction. When groups of friends or coworkers are together, there are people who constantly take breaks from engaging in conversation to check their phones, which is rude and makes the others think that they are not listening to them. Moreover, if they had changed their phone to a grayscale, then they would be less enticed to check their phones as often. The article added a gif to the article that showed the difference between the regular looking iPhone screen and a screen that had a gray screen and my need to check my phone decreased. Nonetheless, going gray will not fix the problem completely, but it is a much-needed start.
    Additionally to our brains being attracted to the color on our phone, it also tells us that someone is important if it is in color. Bevil Conway, an investigator at the National Eye Institute, who researches color and emotion, said, “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”, which explains where our need comes from to check our phones. If you are addicted to your phone, you should try “going grey” to see if your addiction can cured.

  8. Brianna Avery February 23, 2018 at 5:05 pm #

    I found the article “Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone?’ by Nellie Bowles reasonably interesting. I never considered nipping my cell phone addiction in the butt by turning my colorful phone display to greyscale. According to Bowles article, turning your cell phone display into an unappealing grey scale can help stop the overuse of cell phones. Bowles makes a compelling argument making note that when we shop for cereal, we look for boxes that are appealing to the eye, in other words, we as humans like colors. Bowles quotes Bevil Conway an investigator at the National Eye Institute:
    “If you had a color palette, you would end up with a phone that looked pleasant and was not addictively rewarding, that had some intentionality, but of course nobody wants you to do that,” he said. “Because what they want is for you to look.”
    Phone companies need their phone to look visually appealing to keep customers buying. If people did not like the visual display, people wouldn’t buy.
    My iPhone has a function where I can tap my home screen button three times and it turns my phone colors into negative colors. Whenever my phone display turns into negative colors accidentally, I cannot help but turn it off as soon as it happens. For some reason, the negative colors bother me, and whenever my phone doesn’t allow me to change it back, I cease use. I never put two and two together until now.
    Bowles also states in her article; the sound must be off on our cell phones too to help break a cell phone habit. Many of us are guilty of being in the middle of studying or cleaning when we hear our phone ringtone go off. Once that happens we end up running to our cell phones to check our notification. Checking one notification ends up becoming swiping through many of your social media accounts. That is why many people swear by either shutting off their phone or turning off their sound when they are doing something to prevent them from checking it.
    In conclusion, if anyone is looking to slow down on their cell phone usage, it is easy they just have to turn off their sound and make their phone display visually unappealing to them. This method could work for some, but not all. There are still going to be people, no matter how you change their display and if you damage their phone speaker, they will manage to overuse their phone.

  9. Damian Mioduszewski February 23, 2018 at 5:39 pm #

    When opening up your phone you may be wanting to send an email or send your boss a text but you unfortunately get sidetracked by seeing a new red circle by your favorite app. Oh maybe someone sent me a new snap or maybe your friend tagged you in that picture from last night and you go to check. Well since I’m on the app I could respond back to the person who messaged or go look at everyone else’s new pictures. As easy as that you have been sidetracked and you probably forgot why you even went on your phone in the first place. Tech companies are constantly trying to grab your attention and hopefully get you caught up in their app or phone. They plan every little detail out from the shape or even the color. Go figure, tech companies are trying to trigger your brain with certain emotions by using special colors that mean something to us. Fortunately in this article, people who are essentially trying to break their iPhone habit trying to become more productive by using a radical new plan of going grey. The concept of going grey has recently become very popular with people wanting to essentially kick their iPhone addiction by effectively neutralizing the “feelings” that a phone screen can present to you. There is a feature that is relatively difficult to enact that causes the screen to only go in different shades ranging from white to black that results in majority of the colors being grey. Now that snapchat notification looks just as appealing to those 200 emails from your boss simply because the color of snapshot doesn’t stick out to you when you are unlocking your phone. This option of going grey can help many realize the beauty in life is around them and not simply in your phone. Suddenly while walking around the streets of New York you’ll be admiring the beauty of the city around you and that “gray slab” is not as appealing as it once was. Personally as I struggle with the discipline of sometimes getting the most simple tasks done because of the constant appeal of technology I have found this feature to be simply flooring in my mind. Immediately I enacted this new feature and I view this as a game breaking concept of turning your phone into an unattractive grey brick in your pocket. This has the chance to help get the younger generations to be productive again by turning their biggest perfectly engineered to manipulate distraction to be useless. This feature and concept should be used when there is urgency or importance happening in your life but should not be used all the time as your especially paying massive amounts of money for an advanced brick.

  10. Alyssa Heagy February 23, 2018 at 8:24 pm #

    This concept of only having your phone in grayscale sounds like something I would try. I agree that many people are addicted to using their phones and are always going on it and checking it. I am a huge victim of always checking and being on my phone. When doing homework sometimes my phone distracts me. I have downloaded an app to help me from being distracted. The app temporarily locks my phone for the amount of time I set it to and if there was an emergency where I needed to get into my phone I still can if needed. This app is great with helping me stay off my phone when needed. I think that turning a phones screen into grayscale might be interesting to try. This would definitely make using your phone less appealing and less attractive. If I did this to my phone I would want it to be like the app where you can set a time for how long it would be on because trying to take pictures or look at pictures would be really hard if it was only in grayscale. Color is really important in the details of photos. Because color plays such a large role in the Advertising world if everyone started to use gray scale they might have to switch around their colors on the grayscale to make it look appealing. There should be more research done on this to learn the effects of grayscaling has on your use of your phone also along with the effect it might have on your eyes also.

  11. Dean Spenzos February 23, 2018 at 8:25 pm #

    I actually changed my phone to black and white after reading this article. Just like it says, it did not make me a different person all of a sudden. It has only been for a little while and I do not think I will keep it this way for much longer but it was an interesting experiment to try for a while. It’s true that all these apps are battling for our attention and they use different colors to get it. Fast food chains like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King all use the same basic colors of yellow and red because studies show they make us feel more hungry while grabbing our attention at the same time. It’s no surprise that apps are doing the same thing to make us spend as much time using them as possible. Getting rid of all these colors could eliminate the subconscious need to click on these different apps. Software designers such as Apple and Microsoft purposely make their inventions with colors that would be most appealing to the user. If a person sees these multiple color schemes, then they are more prone to use their devices. Changing a phone’s color scheme to black and white completely changes what the user see’s and could even impact the way they use their devices. Personally, I discovered that by changing my phone to black and white, I was less drawn to use it. It was as if my phone was very bland and I was not as motivated to use some applications. The reason major business cooperations and fast food business chains use these bright colors is because they are looking to engage and catch the attention of potential consumers. They want any advantage that would aid them in the sales of their products. In the article, the author states, “ 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.” This goes to show that even other cell phone users don’t use their phone as much once they change the colors to a dull black and white.

  12. Caroline Jean Philippe February 23, 2018 at 8:36 pm #

    Smart Phones have taken over and transformed a whole generation. Unlike most people in my age group I do not really spend a lot of time on my phone. Too much phone usage can be harmful for a person’s health. Since phones are close to people’s faces for the most part, they make the most contact with the brain. The brain is one of the most important organs in the body. It helps people to think and make decisions and having it be harmed by constant radio wave exposure is not good for anyone’s cognitive abilities. The radio waves that are emitted by cell phones have been known to have harmful effects on the brain. Since phone companies know that people are attracted to things that are aesthetically pleasing they make phones look great through the use of color. The phone companies are in constant competition with each other on who makes the best phone and it is almost like phones are not used primarily for calls. They are more like futuristic toys for people. I do not think that there is anything wrong with having nice technology it just using in excess can be harmful to people. Nellie Bowles is trying to say in the article is that the problem with phones with nice colors is that it is so fascinating for people which causes people spend lots of time on their phones.
    I understand why companies use colors to make their products look more appealing because color affects people emotionally. Changing a phone screen to grayscale can make people use their phones less often because gray is a color that is associated with dullness. I understand how Nellie Bowles states how color requires people to pay attention more because it requires you to look at it more because of how nice the colors look. Before reading this article I never thought of making my phone screen grayscale so that I could use it less often.
    Phones should not be people’s top priority in life. Life is worth experiencing for your own self rather than spending it behind a screen.

  13. Mary Margaret Miller February 23, 2018 at 8:47 pm #

    The increase in technological advances have provided the world with a great amount of good, however we have not seen how it is slowly taking over our lives. It all started with the release of the Iphone in 2007. It was the first of its kind, and many flocked to their carrier provider stores as it was released. Since then, the way we design phones has changed dramatically. Many thought that the days of flip phones would never go away, however time has told us otherwise. A common argument that has arose is that the power of cell phones are slowly taking over the universe.
    From a psychological standpoint, our eyes and our minds are drawn to bright light and bright colors, which is why our cell phones have become so addictive. Not only has the bright light and colors lured more users to smartphones, it has also helped companies advertise their products more effectively. This article encourages setting your screens to grayscale in order to avoid getting sucked into all of the features your cell phone offers, but is this easier said than done? Users who switched to using grayscale claimed that without the bright colors and light from their screens, their phones seemed to resemble that of a blank black box. Without bright colors and a bright screen, nothing drew consumers to spend time on their phones when they did not have to or need to.
    Although these technological advancements have helped us create beautiful things, they have also damaged relationships that people have formed with one another; in addition to people not knowing how to be social with one another. A common struggle that the youth of today faces is that they are heavily lacking on communication skills and seem to be too dependent on using smart devices. Children today are growing up with less imagination because they are spending more time indoors on smart devices as opposed to playing outside. Children succumb to these smart devices the most being that they are more attracted to bright lights and the bright colors the screens illuminate. The video games that are on these devices are becoming too enticing to children, and it is teaching them to live without creativity and a need for exploration.
    Another issue that stems from this epidemic is that parents today are more willing to hand their child a smart device instead of spending time with them. If a child is taught these behaviors from an early age they are then unable to develop social skills as they grow older. The amount of technology that is available at their fingertips is also teaching them instant gratification-which is something that humans cannot always directly give one another. Being recipients of instant gratification causes behaviors of disappointment as well as impatience. As the children of this generation grow older, they are not learning what it means to be patient and how we cannot always get what we want in life. Smart devices have changed the way we view things and we must not allow these colorful screens distract us from socializing with one another. What should be gathering from this article is that there is a beautiful world around us, so we should put down our phones and go out and experience it.

  14. Alan Josefsek February 23, 2018 at 8:59 pm #

    To start off, I disagree with the title in the sense that is will never work. If Apple created a worse version of the iPhone, its competitors would flourish. Same if Samsung adopted this policy. Therefore, this will never happen and if it did, all phone companies would have to have a meeting regarding their operating systems and designs and how to make them less intuitive; prompting a market takeover by terrible products. This is called collusion and is illegal. Smartphones give us the ability to connect with our friends, family, and content across billions of data sources that add incredible value. Because of this, people have become addicted to these devices, particularity, social media networks. These range from Facebook to Tinder. If you are spending more time talking to your Twitter friends than your actual friends, if you are more interested in engrossing yourself in the world of a smartphone game than real life, perhaps it’s time to take some small steps towards preventing or managing what could be an addiction. So, how do we combat this popular addiction, especially in children? Well, in South Korea, one of the most heavily affected countries in the world, the Ministry of Science now require schools to teach classes on internet addiction with a particular focus on smartphones. They also organize holidays free of technology in an attempt to detach students from their handsets. A second option for the wider degree of the population is creating a no-phone time-zone. This means that for at least 2 hours of your day (when you’re most productive work happens) you close off your phone and stay completely dedicated to the work in front of you. The third option should be to turn off you cellphone when in your car. This should be a law. Just as in an aircraft you are asked to power off your electronic devices and cell phones, this should be the law of the road. It is impossible for your mind to be at two places at once. It is a law of physics: no one thing can occupy the same space at the same time, and if your mind and eyes are on your phone, they are not on the road. Driving is one of those places where you do not want to mess around, especially considering the fact that you put everyone else’s life on the line when YOU decide to pay attention to you phone rather than the road. Monitoring this would be extremely difficult with the current state of technology and enforcement would be under the same circumstance.

  15. Destiny Kearney February 23, 2018 at 10:46 pm #

    The article above explains how distinct colors, shapes, designs, and tiles makes the cellphone extremely addicting. From using these different methods your brain makes a connection to different apps and you spend time using your phone when you could be doing something else. Nellie Bowles says that she changed the color of her phone to an all gray screen to see if this would make a difference in the way she uses her phone. The overall experience was wonderful, and she feels as though she has control over her decisions. Having a phone now a days has become a necessity more than it is a want. It allows people to communicate quicker and it is a sufficient way to give and receive information. With having its pros, a cellphone has it cons. A cell phone can be a distraction also it can be time consuming. I believe that turning our phones gray would allow us as society to get more things done. When unlocking my phone, I would go straight to my Instagram app unconsciously because of the colors within the app. It is something that my mind is attracted to so if the app was to be gray I feel I wouldn’t want to open it as much. This experiment is something I would love to try. Seeing how simple things like color can control my behavior can help me make better decision when using my phone or just picking a product. I don’t think that everyone would try the idea because they may not see this as a problem. New generations are growing up with these phones that have the attracting colors and shapes so that’s all they know. Some can argue that informing people about the gray scale can hurt large companies that make these apps. In the end could leading to a domino effect. My personal view is, a gray screen can benefit us in ways we couldn’t imagine. Examples like interacting with each other more, using our time more effectively, etc. Gray screens should be more shared with others. I will be looking into this idea to try it out for myself. My hypothesis would be that the gray screen will promote less time on the cellphone and more time spent on other activities.

  16. John A. February 26, 2018 at 2:51 pm #

    The early days of cellular phones consisted of large “brick” style devices that could only complete its sole purpose of making a phone call intermittently. Over the years the technological advancements created user friendly smartphones with reliable networks to use them on. We have been able to turn this once simple device into a necessity for everyday life, filling every second of idle time with something that interests us.
    This fascination with the content on our phones has been referred to as a phone addiction and being addicted to something implies overuse of a substance that can cause harm. There have been many studies on the topic to determine what the possible health risks are that relate to this addiction. One study showed that separation from the phone caused anxiety and another showed that when the participants were without their phones they performed worse on mental tasks and had increased heart rate and blood pressure (
    However, there might be more important health risks that we need to worry about. An article posted by the Association for Psychological Science reports that adolescents who spend more time on electric devices were more likely to have mental health issues than those separated from these devices ( The article also states over the five years between 2010 through 2015, suicide rates increased especially in females.
    I still think it’s odd when I’m waiting in line and everyone has their heads down staring at their phones. I’m just as guilty as the next person and I can’t help to wonder what this is doing to our social skills in conjunction with our health. The NY Times article does describe an interesting solution to make the devices less stimulating and maybe we need to take it even further where the phones lock everything except for phone calls when the user reaches a set time limit, just like kid’s mode.

  17. Mark Marino February 27, 2018 at 1:49 pm #

    To think that Apple and other corporations are doing neuroscience research is mind-boggling. Stimulation of the brain is being researched for companies to make sure you stay looking at your device. The use of vibrant colors and sophisticated closing methods used on smartphones and laptops are specifically designed to stimulate our minds to make sure it has your full attention. Like anything else, this is money driven. The more you scroll through a website or the App Store, the more inclined you are to purchase an item or an application. Amazon also does this when it comes to marketing, using vibrant colors and complex advertising tactics to capture the views of people across different product lines.
    In the article, the writer explains he turned his phone’s greyscale on. This setting enables the phone to show everything in black and white. This eliminates the stimulation of various colors and closing actions that capture the attention of the user. They greyscale does not allow the brain to be hypnotized by extravagant colors and motions. This is important when it comes to a college student. Instead of concentrating on school work, students are distracted easily with colors that Facebook and Twitter use. The fascination of colors almost goes back to when we are children and toys are different colors. The fascination as a child is the same as our fascination with smartphones and technology as adults.
    I think that putting the phone in greyscale would be beneficial for me. I find myself while studying always checking my phone. This is not a good habit to have and is something I would like to get rid of and I think that turning the phone to greyscale will help the situation. Unfortunately the factory settings are always in the favor of the company and their money-making habits. Also, companies like Apple and Google take advantage of those who have their phones by them 24/7. Today, most phone users have smartphones in their pockets nearly all the time. To have that piece of technology, processing power, and money maker in your packet makes for the perfect storm for corporations to take advantage of you and your money. Loyalty to the product also works to the detriment of the user. Releasing a new phone every year will always capture the eye of current users and stir up conversation in the tech world.

  18. Gabrielle Pietanza February 28, 2018 at 12:03 am #

    With the number and variety of technological devices the increasing cell phone, and further, electronics addiction does not surprise me. One development regarding this issue is turning on the respective electronic devices’ grey scale. This setting can easily be altered and transforms the devices bright colors to shades of black, grey, and white. Many internet platforms have started looking to applied neuroscience to see how brains respond to colors in apps. Further research shows the importance of color in our development and understanding of priorities and emotion. By playing into the use of colors companies are claiming the attention of their audience. Although I previously did not know of this practice I believe its effects to be beneficial. The bright colors stimulate pleasurable and addictive responses. Humans are easily distracted creatures and in this day and age intriguing color schemes can be enough to steal someone’s focus.

    From companies such as Apple to parents themselves, individuals across the nation are searching for ways to limit the use of electronics with a specific focus on children. Although some app developers are looking into the neuroscience behind it all, other companies are playing to their audiences desires in order to make a larger profit. These problems are not slowing down and with new younger users and constant technology the problems regarding phone addiction do not appear to be slowing down. For this movement to be truly successful we all must work together in spirit of this common goal of ending internet and cellphone addiction. If one company was to offer a lower quality phone sales in competitors would flourish and the action would be done for nothing. We must not degrade our products but encourage alternatives to the internet. To teach individuals how to be social beings and not continuously glued to their screen.

    The overall increase in technology has done a great deal of good for our society at large. With all the advancement it has brought us we as a people have seemed to become dependent on it. We must not allow the technology around us to distract us and the routines of our everyday lives. These bright and inviting platforms may seem harmless but we must realize the power these electronics have over our lives. The countless screens we have tend to take our attention from other humans and the world around us. If turning on grey scale is all it takes to settle the technology addiction facing individuals nationwide I believe it is a practice we should all possibly join in on.

  19. Justin February 28, 2018 at 10:57 pm #

    In the modern day, people are so attracted to their smartphone, because the smart phone had bright and delightful that attract people. According to the nationwide data, 82% of pedestrian fatalities occur when people were testing while walking. In one of the Essex Country township, people will be the ticket for looking at their phone while walking. However, if the smartphone doesn’t have all those delightful color that attract people’s attention, people will not frequently check their phone. For example, people will not buy a black and white cereal box, but they will buy cereal with colorful box, the reason is color, not just sight, the color will check people’s decision. In a high school cafeteria, when the school paint all the wall red, people will always fight, but once the school changes the wall color to blue, everything went back to normal. Color can vary people’s emotion and decision. A small group of people trying to turn their phone screen into grayscale to break phone attachment. In the first couple day, the method of turning phone screen into the grayscale work remarkably well, because one of the reasons that people are the addict to the smart phone in the modern day is the modern technology is so advanced, and smartphone is capable of displaying multiple colors. Back in the day, the phone and tv are black and white, and people are not addicted to their smartphone. Once we turn the modern smartphone to black and white, people will stop addict on their phone. However the black and white method can only stop people from going on social media and constantly checking their phone, people will still texting other people even the screen is gray. People will still walk while texting and text while driving.
    In respond to Lucas comment, I will always check my phone when the colorful notification symbol pops up. And sometimes I will just want to send a text, but end up going into a different app and doing some other thing. In the modern day, the app company uses those bright and delightful color to attract people to click the app. One of the reasons why no one uses black and white in the advertise because black and white will not attract people’s attention. When people saw black and white advertise, they will only glance through it.

  20. Andrew Kuttin March 1, 2018 at 2:52 am #

    Seventy-Seven percent of Americans now own smartphones ( This represents a meteoric rise in popularity since 2011 when that number was only 35%. For anything to gain that kind of popularity in such a short amount of time, something about it must be universally appealing. Smartphones represent a level of convenience never seen before in our personal technology. A person can plan their entire lives on the phones we have now and can access virtually anything. Whether it is news articles, live event streaming, or gaming our smartphones put it all in the palm of our hands. It cannot be too surprising that American smartphone owners check their phones an average of 47 times per day ( The convenience draws them in and these phones are designed by marketing geniuses to make them stay. As this New York Times article points out, “we’re simple animals, excited by bright colors”. The logos presented in app scales, and the displays of our phones take purposefully enticing colors. This has a pleasant effect on the eye and inclines people to come back for more or stay longer. As a result, author Nellie Bowles and many others are beginning to take the color out of the equation by putting their phones on a black and white setting. Bowles mentions that she felt a loss of control over her phone before she made the switch. It was far too easy for her to get distracted while performing simple tasks because of the convenient distraction represented by the colorful logo of Instagram for example. After the switch, this logo is less inviting, making her less likely to click on it. This gives her more control. She is no longer as tempted and therefore, can let her willpower take over.

    I am without a doubt, addicted to my smartphone. It gives me the ability to always have a stimulant in progress no matter where I am or what I am doing. While I am working I have music playing, while I’m walking around campus I have a podcast playing, while I’m waiting for something I scroll through Reddit or Twitter. As a result of my smartphone, I never have a dull moment. At this point I am so adjusted to the stimuli that I pursue it subconsciously. I sometimes find myself scrolling through a feed without remembering starting. I think that switching my phone to black and white would curb this problem. The neutral colors will make the experience less stimulating and over time, less appealing. For those who are also interested in making the switch, directions for how to switch your phone to grayscale can be found here (

  21. Kirsten MacArthur March 1, 2018 at 11:04 am #

    I first read the title of this article expecting it to be about how using simple flip phones rather than complex smartphones would end our addiction to phones. As I began to read the article, I soon realized that it was all about the colors and shapes utilized in smartphone design and applications. I would have never thought that the colors of the games I play or the social media I use are really what is causing my addiction, but I do not think that I or anyone else can completely blame it on that. Sure, the colors may be attractive on my IPhone, but so is the fact that I have basically everything I could ever need in the palm of my hand. We can Google search absolutely anything or contact anyone that we need to in just a matter of seconds on our phones, and that in itself is definitely addicting. Most of us feel that we cannot function without our smartphones because of the easy accessibility to basically anything that they provide us with, but also because of the constant communication with others that we partake in daily and now rely on. Humans crave attention and to feel relevant, which is why I believe that smartphones have become so addicting for so many of us. We mostly use our phones to stay in constant contact with people, which makes us feel that we are important to our friends and family. Social media use can also give us this feeling of fulfillment when our friends like or comment on our posts, or post photos of us for all of their other friends to see. It is actually quite disheartening for me to see how much smartphones have impacted our self-esteems and can so quickly alter our moods, and this all stems from our obvious addictions to these devices. If we never became so addicted to our phones, we would still be gaining most of our happiness and fulfillment from real life interactions and accomplishments.
    The concept of “controlled attention” introduced in this article is interesting to me because I was never aware of the fact that I could redirect my attention to more important parts of my smartphone such as my school email, rather than always ending up on Instagram whenever I unlock my device. Instagram definitely has one of the more colorful and attractive looking icons on my phone, so besides having a social media addiction in general, I may just be drawn to it more because of the icon itself. It definitely may be beneficial for me to turn my phone gray for a bit to see if this would really help me to be able to have more self-control over what I spend the most time doing on my phone. I will definitely admit to having very little control over where my attention goes each time I unlock my phone. Typically, I go on my phone to maybe text or email someone, and almost every time, I end up on an app that is more interesting or relieves my stress. Checking Instagram gives me just a little bit of excitement every time, because I can’t wait to see if someone new followed me, or if one of my friends posted a new photo. Even though it gives me just this tiny burst of excitement, it is still addicting, and marketers know this. I am the exact kind of person that the designers of the IPhone or social media apps are looking to target, and going gray could just be a simple way for people like me to lessen our addictions to our phones.

  22. Carley H March 1, 2018 at 12:39 pm #

    I think it is very interesting to see how much technology is starting to change the world that we live in. I remember when I was little and technology was not as advanced as it is now. Growing up alongside advancements in technology has honestly been a really cool experience that not many people get to say that they have experienced. Technology is very important in our lives toady and I am not sure were everyone would be if there was no such thing. When I was born, I distinctly remember that the new invention was a cell phone, but it was not what most people would think was a cell phone.

    Now a days a new cell phone is coming out at least twice a year and technology advances so much where people are getting so obsessive over having the newest addition. I personally know a Professor that told my class that he is obsessed with Apple products and will purchase a new phone every time a new one comes out. To me that is crazy because I personally do not care about having the newest products that come out. However, it also opened my mind to people who do and I do understand, but they are obsessed with new technology.

    I find in the younger generation that those kids are starting to become more addicted to their phone and they do not know what to do without them. Along with that generation there are definitely people much older who attach to technology, especially their phones, for everything because they believe that it is more efficient. The question I always ask myself is what if my phone is broken? I would lose all the information on there until it was fixed, if it even could be fixed.

    It was interesting to read how the colors on the iPhone make it more appealing for people to want to use their phone. I have never thought about trying to change my phone to a grey scale to stop using it as much. With that I believe it is an interesting way to go about not using your phone as much, but when did all of a sudden things get so bad where people are addicted to technology? I believe that people need to take a step back and realize what technology has started to become and either accept it or move on.

  23. John Whale March 1, 2018 at 4:22 pm #

    Phone addiction is a very serious thing and it is taking over people’s lives. This is until a tech ethicist Tristan Harris tried a little experiment. If you switch your phone to grey it will allow you to not keep on checking your smartphone every second. Thus, is because the vibrant collars are gone, making your screen a little less sexy. The colors on the apps and phone is a connection between our emotions and priorities. Some companies even use this and study the brain and the correlation with the apps. They want the app to be happy and have a good color and shape to it to draw us in. Using the grey setting eliminates the phone and its manipulation and lets us focus on other things.
    This opened my eyes to how much time we spend on our phones. We are so drawn into the colors and the different apps that we are missing the world around us. It kind of sucks because these app developers are really tricking us. They know what they are doing and they do not feel bad about it all. For instance, my phone broke one day and I realized how attached to it I was. It’s a sort of freeing experience being away from it. Now that I know how to get rid of the attachment. I am definitely going to try and turn on the grey settings to get myself less attached.

  24. Lauren Woodward March 1, 2018 at 7:46 pm #

    All devices of the 21st century have proven to be not only spectacular in their usage, but have also stood out through their design, color, and overall, its shininess. These details consequently distract the users of such devices, which therefore has lead to addiction. If you look around in a public space, you will see most individuals staring down at their cellphone or checking their smart watch. Their smart device addiction is harming our personal and communication skills each time they pick up their technology.
    While social media is great, why do we constantly look through the same feed over and over again and research different accounts on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook? I think we do this mostly because we humans are susceptible to information that isn’t necessarily important at the moment. The factor of bright colors and designs play into this theory, which overall leads us to be attached to our phones. It would be impossible to break the attachment that most people have to their devices, due to the way society has implemented technology in the past decade. However, by eliminating these distractions I think we’d be able to decrease device addiction by a significant amount. Although, we have to remember that not everyone would be willing to change their phone to grayscale. I know for a fact that teenagers in this day and age will not give up their endless amount of time on their phone to talk to an actual person.
    One aspect of technological addiction that never occurred to me is the attraction by colors and design specs. However, this article points out that we get distracted from what we really need to do on our phone by the bright colors and designs of other apps. And since we get distracted, we spend more time on our phones, and then an addiction rises. By changing the color scheme to grayscale on an iPhone, distraction decreases significantly. I think the idea of colors distracting people is quite interesting; I never really thought it would lead to such an addiction to technology. This could possibly result in why some people continually buy Apple products; they keep buying products because they are sleek in design and attract consumers through aesthetic. It’s quite a brilliant tactic to use, and it has definitely benefited technology companies thus far.

  25. Zachary Corby March 2, 2018 at 3:00 am #

    The idea of going to a grayscale phone is very innovative and not at all what I thought could possibly help me to be more in control of my phone. However the article brings up a lot of good points as to how colors could make your phone more addicting then anyone could think of. This is because different colors induce different reactions in your subconscious. Things that are aesthetically pleasing always draw our attention more then we know, whether it be an ad, clothes etc, different color schemes grab our initial attention. This is important because as long as you can grab an initial attention, if you have a good enough product it can really cause people to fall in love and become enamored by it. That is what apps on our phone do. The colors and icons of the apps seemingly catch our eyes, but it is the fear of missing out on something that keeps us coming back to waste excessive amounts of time on the apps. I believe that social media in general plays a bigger role more then anything else. If we did not live in a world where we needed to know what everyone was doing at all times we would not keep checking our phones to see what everyone was up to on social media. People also check their phones a lot as well because they just have a very short attention span and can not focus on doing one task. This is another result of the world we live in today where multi tasking is looked at as very valuable. People are always checking their phones while working because they feel as if they can stay alerted on what everyone is doing and work productively when that usually is not the case. The idea of putting your phone greyscale though is very intriguing to be more productive. What helps is that this setting only requires three clicks of the home button to switch to it, and three click to switch back to normal colors. This can help students and people around the world stay focused when they have a specific task simply because when they see that they are in grey scale mode they know that they have a task that needs to be finished. The simple precedent along with the boring colors will help alert people’s wandering minds to focus. Maybe it is the colors of the apps that do this, but when my mind does begin to wander, and I do open my phone, I feel as if I am no obligated to do something with it. Whether that be check my social media or read a sports article really quick on bleacher report, I feel sucked into to saying on my phone. The other problem with this is that no one knows that this is even a setting. Until reading this article I did not know I could change my phone to gray, and did not even think that it could help me become more productive and tame my impulses to check my phone. I agree with the articles overall conclusions that colors play a role in helping to keep us on our phone, and that a more boring phone would help people stay off of it. The problem is that it will never commercially happen, and if enough people begin to take advantage of it I am sure apple will take the setting away. The color from these apps are a huge part of how they make their money from getting you to visit which allows for advertising and other revenue opportunities. As long as companies can grab your initial attention through aesthetically pleasing apps it will give them a chance to get you to commit tot them for a long time. Gray scaling is a good patch, but ultimately will not provide a long term solution to keeping people off of their phones.

  26. Daniel Colasanto March 2, 2018 at 10:10 am #

    Is the answer to phone addiction a worse phone? I love to find out! Before reading this article I was very curious as to the solution to phone addiction was going to be, was it really going to be a worse phone? In some instance yes, but the functionality and all of the phone’s capabilities remain the same. According to this article the solution to phone addiction according to neurosciences and tech executives is by going “gray scale.”
    In my personal opinion, I like the concept. I for one have noticed a growing attachment to my phone since I received my first smart phone. The colors are bright, the ads are sharp quality, and sounds are clear and stimulating. It’s a great device for many different reasons. However should companies be allowed to manipulate your decisions by studying neuroscience to discover what would make someone shift their attention from one location of the screen to another based on size, shape, color, or animated images? The moral answer in my opinion is no but the harsh reality is that companies are allowed to do this and they funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into psychological research and neuroscience in order to capture your attention and increase consumer insight all to maximize potential profits. Here is an article discussing this:
    Furthermore, I went gray scale! I want to see whether or not it changing the amount of times I check my phone per day or if I start using social media less. Why? Because I want to be in control of my life. From a deeper philosophical perspective I do not believe that any person or business should be allowed to create advertisements or company logos based on my genetic makeup and science of how my brain responds to stimuli. This is the reason why I went gray scale and I hope some of those who read this post do to. As mentioned in the article, when a gentleman went gray scale he saw his opinion on his phone shift from a toy to a practical tool that he uses when he wants to. With freedom of thought and action he no longer feels the need to go on instagram before writing an email. Or even go to do something on his phone and completely shift direction and waste valuable time and energy.
    In addition, it is to my understanding after reading this article that if a company does enough research on the human mind and how humans react to their environment that in essence they can control our thoughts and behaviors. This in my opinion should be considered a threat to society and civilization as a whole and I will not take it lightly that myself, my friends, and family members are being controlled by a tool invented to make their lives more convenient. The telephone has evolved exponentially since its creation and has become an entirely different animal both technologically and purpose. It is with pleasure that today I gained my freedom back from the tech companies who are trying to influence my decision making when opening my personal cell phone device. I look forward to seeing if my habits change anytime soon in a positive way.

  27. Coby Dunn March 2, 2018 at 12:18 pm #

    Technology has become a necessity for my generation. Having the newest and best thing the market has to offer is how we keep up with the world. So, with technology, we have advertising. Flashy signs, fun words, and bright colors have been a part of advertising since it was created. The different platforms throughout history may have changed, but the message remains the same. “Look at my product! It’s bright, amazing, and will change your life” The problem of our generation, is that we have this advertising in our face, in our pocket, and integrated in our life. The article focuses on the power of colors, and how they catch our attention. This is called clickbait. Flashy titles and fun colors peak our curiosity, as they have since humans first roamed the earth. So, what Nellie Bowles of the New York Times is proposing, is going gray. She concludes that by eliminating the influence color has on our decision making, that it gives a more objective and focused approach to our interaction with technology. I feel that I can relate to this. Too many times have I unlocked my smart phone to do something objective and productive, whether it is checking my email or looking up a fact on the internet, and have been distracted by games or social media. So, one task soon becomes a thirty minute ordeal because my eyes want to see puppies in clothes. Another aspect to this I believe, is how personal advertising feels to us. I read another article on this blog, The house the spied on me. It was about the author, Kashmir, and an experiment she did by making her home a smart home. She wanted to see what her products sent to companies, and what they said about her. From this, one can assume that the advertising and things we see are tailored to us. So, the things we see on the web, and in social media, has been personalized for us. So, not only are we being distracted by flashy colors and fun words, but we are also subjected to advertising that appeals to us directly. In the past it may have been easy to ignore some products since they did not apply to your life. But, if we see things that we can connect to and enjoy, then it only makes the distraction that much more powerful. So, while switching my phone to gray may help with the level of distraction I face when using my hand held device, I do not think that it can completely eliminate it with the level of influence technology has on our lives.

  28. Jake Bennis March 2, 2018 at 1:02 pm #

    Before reading this article, I had no idea there was a gray scale option. In order to understand this theory of color, I decided to go an hour with the gray option and I have to say, I checked my phone a lot less often. Many, if not all, people are addicted to bright colors, whether it is the flashing lights at a concert, or just a vibrant painting. According to the chief executive of Neurons, “Color and shape, these are the icebreakers when it comes to grabbing people’s attention, and attention is the new currency,” and he is right. A lot of who we are is determined by what we pay attention to and prioritize. It is hard to say which things we have to prioritize, but phones should not be one of them.
    Everything we do revolves around our phones. From banking to games, we use our phones for everything. When the battery on your phone dies you feel lost and in the dark. However, not so long as 10 years ago, phones were not nearly as developed. When I got my first phone at the end of fifth grade, the only things you could do on it were text and call. This basic form, in comparison to the smartphones we have today, really weren’t very appealing and the most color your phone had was the actual color of the phone itself. Back then; the phones weren’t nearly as addicting.
    In my opinion, its too late to try to revert ourselves back to a less addictive device due to the amount of things we rely our phones to provide for us. In reality, how “addictive” are our phones, and when do we draw the line between using our phones for business and when it becomes an addiction due to games and social media?

  29. Samara Simboli March 2, 2018 at 2:03 pm #

    In today’s society, we are so focused on having our smartphones on us and using them for every little aspect of life. I know I am one of those people who feels almost like a part of their body is missing if their phone is not within a few feet of me at all times. It was interesting to hear about switching the color scale on your phone to gray from the normal bright colors that you are greeted with when opening the phone. I think that changing the color scale might help with the addiction, but also it may help with the fact that looking at screens of computers or cell phones for too long can cause headaches. I know when I had my most recent head trauma, the emergency room physician recommended that I do not use my cell phone or if I really needed to use it, I needed to put the brightness very low to the point where you couldn’t see the bright colors. So I did kind of have experience with having my phone on grayscale, and it was not the same. When I usually open and check my phone I want to see all the bright colors and all the icons as they are. During that time, I felt as though my phone was useless and not fun anymore. I did not want to really check it or use it to go on social media.
    Putting our phones on greyscale might help those who really have a serious addiction to their cell phones, learn that it might be time to put it away and turn it off for a while. Though traditional marketing strategies use colors to appeal to their audiences but so do phone advertisers. You would not see an advertisement for the newest iPhone showing bland colors and boring features, they use the marketing knowledge that people respond better to bright colors to their advantage. We use colors to identify different brands or products, for example, if you see a red bullseye you would pretty quickly identify what you are looking at is Target. Phone companies use the same approach as they need to do advertising too. In general, marketing knows what grabs people’s attention and they use it to their advantage to make sure that people will see the product and think about buying it. For many people, they enjoy their phone because of all the bright colors and images that they see on it on a daily basis. Turning our phones on greyscale could very well help with concentration and help to reduce the number of times that we check our phones a day, but I am just not sure that many people would openly say yes I will permanently change the color scheme on my phone to greyscale.

  30. Timothy Guerrero March 2, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

    It truly is incredible how specific qualities major tech corporations and Silicon Valley emphasize are so simplistic, yet have a rather grandiose effect. We take for granted the complexity involving this kind of stuff – I mean, has anyone ever truly sat down and lament in how phenomenal these gadgets are? They have essentially captivated us in unprecedented manners, as it is seemingly now impossible to engage in modern society from the usage of a flip phone. Wallets, watches, messaging apps, emails, everything, are all replaced via the convenience of our phones. However, I never was truly aware that the extent of which we are captivated is via the vibrant colors that stimulate, being a precise as the colors in the Google logo, for example. These colors and overall appearance galvanize our attention, as we are creatures of habit and captivation, and this explains why author Nellie Bowles seeks to alter the status quo.

    Bowles, as well as millions in society, are admitting to being addicted to cell phones and technology, Given their captivation, convenience, and necessity, it is unsurprising, however, Bowles’ take on resolving the issue is both witty and clever. The concept? To turn off the colors on a phone using Apple’s color settings. And it has worked, to an extent. Those who have done such reported less of an impulsive feeling to check our phones, and I think this is a fascinating concept that could be simplistic enough for many to utilize, and have a net positive effect to help ease addiction towards our phones. However, it’s interesting to note that Apple makes it difficult to do this, perhaps signifying that it is not in the tech companies interests for this to be well known. All in all, I’d argue that most will stick with traditional phone usage, as it serves as an utmost convenience, and the captivation of the colors enhance our experience, which drives us to return.

  31. Thomas Saulle March 2, 2018 at 3:15 pm #

    We really never take into account how bad our phones are for us. An article I read produced by forbes, goes into how phone addiction is real, and the downsides behind it. How our “phone addiction” has dramatically increased within the last five years. “About 48% of those who spent five or more hours a day on their phones—a lot of time by any measure—had thought about suicide or made plans for it, vs. 28% of those who spent only one hour per day on their phones.” (Walton) It is actually terrible to see these statistics, and to correlate how bad phones are to people. I thought it was an ingenious idea for people to use grey scale on their phones to avoid bright colors that draw attention. Because after all, we are just animals that are drawn to colors, right? With this whole grey scale test, it is something I would definitely try. I had never known how things like shading can control my mind and help me choose when having to pick something. Now, I do not think everyone would want to try this grey scale idea because not everyone things that phone addiction is a problem. In the age were in now, we what consider the “times” would include everything about technology. How can we draw away from phone addiction? First, avoid these bright colors; blue for instance on your phone is actually helping you stay awake rather than fall asleep. That is why people who lay on the phone in bed tend to have a harder time falling asleep. Phone addiction is a real issue, and we need to research some aspects of phone to make them less addicting; dim the screens, make colors bland, keep is basic and easy to the eyes. Hopefully this can slow down the amount of people that are glued to their phone.


  32. Aldona Brzek March 2, 2018 at 6:11 pm #

    It is very true. We as humans in the society we live in are attached to our phones more than family. People claim they are unable to live without a phone when less than 20 years ago not everyone had a phone and were capable of living without it. With the use of phones constantly throughout the day, we become addicted. However, Bowles brings up good points talking about how neurologist’s have studied human brains to see why we are so attached and addicted to constantly using our phones. With the help of the people from Silicon Valley, we are aware from this article that the appearance of apps and devices having specific colors and shapes attracts people of all different age groups. When it comes to the age group situations, I remember being 5 years old and seeing a computer was something we would honor and never take advantage of meanwhile children who are 5 years old now in 2018 know how to work computers, ipads, and phones better than people from the older generations. This is because children from a young age have their attention grasped by things of various colors, shapes, and things that make noises. With that being said, the brain of a child when it is young and still developing and is using all these devices becomes reliant on them and will become addicted from an early age. Changing the screen to a grey scale completely changes the game because no one is really attracted to looking at something black, white, and grey because it will appear to them as boring and not something you want to interact with for a long period of time.

    Changing the screen to the grey scale would change a lot of peoples perspectives on how much they should use their phones throughout the day and being able to control themselves would be a major challenge. Some people are trying to limit themselves from using their phones and electronic devices less than they usually do when at the same time huge companies like Facebook and other social media platforms are using doctors to enhance their apps to have more people being attracted to their apps. Instead of helping us figure out ways to stay off electronic devices and become addicted, they only thing large companies think of is how they can increase their profits and have more consumers. The excitement created by the colors on the screen is a way of new consumers to be attracted and to keep old ones around. I agree with one of the responses to this article by saying that when they gave up social media for Lent, they did not have a problem and I completely agree that if you are willing to put it aside and use it less frequently then it can change your life around.

  33. Michael Katz March 2, 2018 at 7:41 pm #

    The article “Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone?” by Nellie Bowles is important to read because there are many studies that people are getting addicted to technology, especially cellphones. There is a real thing called Technology Addiction and there are rehab centers opening up all over the country to help with these various addictions. One suggestion is to take the colors off the screens and make them grey. Research says that many people get addicted to their cell phones. When I walk around campus, I watch students walking from class to class or back to cars and dorms and they’re not looking at their surroundings, but their looking at a stupid screen. It’s almost like a science fiction movie where people have loss their connection to reality by living their lives behind a screen. I have read science fiction books similar to this concept. People need to make a concerted effort to put the phones down and not use them all day long. I am guilty of it too. My phone is always at my side and I have to really try not to look at it when I’m driving. It’s sad that people use a phone that might kill themselves or others. A worse phone with less color might be the answer, but maybe a little self -restraint would really help.

  34. Frank Mabalatan March 2, 2018 at 8:23 pm #

    Humans cannot escape the fact that they are an animal species, meaning they just as easily excited by external stimuli as any other species. The intrinsic need to entertain flashing lights and blaring sounds is a nature that is almost impossible to break. This aspect of human nature is exploited through the prevalent use of smartphones and other devices in today’s world. Digital advancements of the last decade have propelled the society into a world of countless opportunities which could be taken advantage of by any user of these devices. Contemporary technology has been an indispensable tool for succeeding in one’s career as well as being an active participant in society. However, when the use of these devices is no longer of a utilitarian nature, they serve no valid purpose. In such a case, the user is indulging himself by mindlessly entertaining these lights and sounds without producing anything of worth through the device.
    I view the grayscale method as an effective way to mitigate this unproductivity, an obstacle to the advancement of technology which must be overcome in order for society to continue to move forward. The power in technology is its capability in giving people a means to connect with others, produce work more efficiently, and stay up to date with the world. It is when a person indulges himself in the flashing lights and blaring sounds that these devices begin to isolate him, prevent him from completing his work, and essentially allow him to fall behind the rest of the world. The grayscale display on devices ends the attraction to meaningless stimuli and reverts smartphones and other devices back to their utilitarian use. In doing so, this recaptures the intended purposes of these devices and reinserts people back on the track of productivity and innovation.

  35. Abeeda Razack March 2, 2018 at 8:24 pm #

    Indeed, smartphones have become our companions. We share a special relationship with our smartphones as if they are human beings. In today’s world, over two billion people own smartphones. Users carry around their smartphones everywhere they go. They are directly involved with their users’ day-to-day activities as smartphones have become multipurpose devices. Besides making phone calls, users can search and access information, engage in social media networking sites, read the news, and locate nearby businesses. Smartphones have inevitably changed the ways in which we conduct ourselves and engage in today’s world. More often than not, smartphone users check their devices to see if whether or not they have received messages, emails and other notifications from applications, particularly from their social media applications. However, have we become addicted to these devices by creating superficial needs from our smartphones? Addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice which eventually comes detrimental to physical and mental well-being in the long run. Current trends are signaling to widespread addiction to smartphones. Individuals are frequently complaining of family members being excessively occupied by their devices. It has also been noted that many of these individuals are less likely to be involved in important family discussions and are less focused to their environment. In addition, smartphone users have frequently reported obsessive behavioral patterns when using such devices. They are suffering from a form of compulsive behavior in which they are constantly checking their smartphone devices and therefore, trapped in such a repetitive pattern. Such a compulsive behavior gives rise to anxiety and irritability within users when they are prohibited from accessing their smartphone devices. It is not something that could be stopped overnight. It is difficult to believe that on average, a smartphone user checks his/her device eighty-five times per day. Moreover, it is proven that on average, an American smartphone user spends approximately five hours a day on their devices and at least half of that time spent is used for social media use. In general, it is true that social media has taken over the lives of its users. Smartphone users are more engaged in the features offered by these social media platforms. But do smartphone users gain anything rewarding from the excessive use of features offered by the social media platforms? Some individuals believe that the use of online methods of communication foster the development of social skills in this technologically advanced world.
    Furthermore, I do not believe that changing the overall color can significantly decrease the usage in smartphones among its users. Imagine changing your phone color screen to an unappealing one, do you think that it can potentially decrease hours spent on usage? The color is the only aspect that will change. Nothing else. Users would still be able to gain access to their social media platforms, check their emails and send/receive text messages on their smartphone devices. It is not an effective method of reducing the excessive usage. It is recommended for smartphone users to exercise self-control in alleviating this issue.

  36. Lucas Rodriguez March 2, 2018 at 8:33 pm #

    It seems as if in contemporary periods, we have entirely cemented most of our daily functioning in the depths of our own personal omniscient devices- our smartphones. As you casually walk through the city, you begin to notice just how prominent these systems are in controlling almost everything we do- they guide us through our itinerant travels, entertain us amid the day, and have begun to represent our most basic utilities for communication and information. It is almost inevitable that at one instance or another you have almost been shoved off your feet from a nearby pedestrian that was too preoccupied with their mobile technology, or in many other situations, you have probably been that pedestrian. Currently, a whopping 77 percent of all Americans own a smartphone. This technological plague has only begun to further spread, as the innovational community continues to expand. As the article expresses from its systematic analysis on a solution to potentially end the over-consuming outbreak of such a fixation on all smartphone devices, by making smartphones “worse”, either by implementing a different, non-appealing color theme or omitting some programs we could potentially begin to alleviate some of the demand for such devices. Especially as the article elaborates on from the experiment on individuals who have their vibrant colors turned to dull, dim shades, the color scheme situation has proved increasingly efficient. Back in prior times when individuals used to watch television from the lifeless color of the black and white television era; the atmospheric darkness that used to surround entertainment lacking complete vibrancy, color introduced a new and improved platform from which an array of attention and consumer interest emerged. From this previous onset of what seemed like a revolution in the consumer-related entertainment industry, individuals have now become accustomed to a succession of improvement in terms of their now more prominent means of preference- their mobile phones. As the quality of cameras improve and the phones begin to be designed in more eye-appealing and “modern” ways, consumers continue to prefer such devices that represent the products of the future. So if a company were to advertise a product that had deviated away from the ever-progressive technological state of the modern era, it is likely that individuals will begin to demand less of that item in the market, potentially diminishing some of these desperate desires individuals have to constantly immerse themselves in their devices- as if it were the oxygen that allowed them to function and survive. Unfortunately though, at least for those whom want to end this plague of smartphone obsession, it is palpable that there will never truly be a circumstance in which smartphones could be less impactful in our lives. Being the means as the current form of our informational database, which could be easily accessible and secured at will, the generation of phones will only seemingly continue to prosper and rapidly expand. On average individuals spend 4 hours and a half on our phones daily, which has shown to slowly been increasing over the years. And to only further prove the ineffable reliability we have grown to adopt on our phones, in a study asking whether or not an individual would rather have either a broken smart phone or a broken bone, surprisingly 47 percent of adults have chosen the latter. Nonetheless, as the resources and technological enhancements occur under corporation power, whether this be enhanced products of production or a more efficient resource supply, companies will continue to invest in evolving their product to the utmost potential and capacity. With the motivation of maximizing profit underscoring every single product production a company endeavors toward, it is almost impossible to infer a period where there will be a lapse in consumer growth for smartphones. As the company begins to finding new developing methods of producing the impending products that will represent our innovative future, they will begin to save money and use this method to enlarge their production output. With this increase in production and improved phone designs, especially since better technology could potentially reduce market prices, the demand for such products will only continue to grow. Our attempts to alleviate such reliance on a national scale will potentially only show to prove unfruitful and too feeble; we will only continue to sink within this industrial quicksand that has not only consumed our entire lives, but could represent the main source of our mere survival.

  37. Chris Lineman March 2, 2018 at 9:37 pm #

    To be quite honest, the addiction people must be on their phone all the time is something I do not understand. I am a millennial. I could see why it has been addressed as an addiction, but it is not hard to break. I’ve went without cell service for a week or if I’m out doing something I don’t touch my phone. I never missed my phone at these times. I found it pleasant to not interact through my phone. Unless I am bored, I don’t care much to be on my phone. Also, I’ll give this greyscale idea a try, but I think it’s a bunch of nonsense. Sure, colors draw your attention and stimulate your brain in a different way than colors, but that doesn’t cause you to be addicted. Plus, the fact that the article says the greyscale setting is hidden well and hard to find is not true. It took be maybe 30 seconds to find it on my first try looking for it. Looking at my phone in greyscale, well it’s just plain, but nothings changed. Still using it the same way with no difference in feeling.
    I think you got to just go away somewhere without cell service if you have an addiction. Then, you can’t focus on other people or news constantly. You’ll learn its relaxing to not have to try to stay updated with everyone else every hour of the day. You’ll come back and realize by talking to people what you missed out on. Also, don’t let me forget I must check Instagram because “it’s colorful.” Have you ever thought to yourself, “I want to go on Instagram because it is colorful?” Probably not. You probably checked it to see pictures of other people, funny posts, sports highlights, and scenery. You’re right with your phone on greyscale everyone’s pictures look the same and there isn’t a reason to use it because everything looks similar and dull.
    Certainly, this topic was not very interesting to me. If anything, I’m in disbelief that there’s a false way to cure phone addiction. It’s almost as bad as those false weight loss advertisements you see every day on social media. I agree colors stimulate your mind, but by no means to I believe they cause addiction. Otherwise, I’d be obsessed with eating skittles constantly. People need to just put their phones down sometimes.

  38. Shakur Mckinney March 5, 2018 at 8:10 pm #

    This article was interesting to me especially as a marketing major. I never realised how much shades of different colors have an affect on people. For me I’ve always known that for certain things colors may attract me, like for candy, I know at least for me I tend to favor candy that has a brighter color, or is wrapped in a package that is a brighter color. It’s always been on a subconscious level though, I never thought there was actual science behind it for me I just always tend to favor candy thats on the brighter side, because I correlate bright colors with good tasting candy. But I never would’ve thought color would have such a huge affect on the amount of time people spend on their phone. I figured people who are most likely addicted to their phone are addicted to it because of social media and that constant connection to the world that a cellular device gives them. But I never would have thought that the simple color scheme within a phone adds to the addiction. It makes sense to me because I get that people are attracted to bright colors, so naturally I understand why brighter and more vibrant types of color schemes can be more attractive to the human eye. But I figured coloring is not what attracts people to cell phones, its the social aspect. So when the author talks about how he turned his phone to grayscale mode and after a couple of days he said that his urge to check his phone dropped tremendously that was very interesting to hear, because I really thought it wouldn’t play a part in his need to touch his phone. Even when looking at the gif he attached to the article which shows a Iphone background switching back and forth between a normal and gray color pallette, I have to admit the gray is rather unamusing and does sort of affect my mood. I actually started to read faster than normal just so the the gif wasn’t in my peripheral view because the grayscale palette was actually starting to annoy me. I also found it cool to hear about how app developers really spend time picking and incorporating colors and designs into the emblems for their apps, and how much color really does play in drawing attention. I think this article was a great read because it really opened my eyes and broke down to me how simple yet effective marketing can be. It’s crazy to think that a shade of a color might be the reason why someone chooses to download or pass on someones app, and its even crazier to think that the different shades of color in my phone may be the reason why I check it 23 hours a day. Moving forward I think i’m actually going to try turning my phone on grayscale mode in an effort to try to stay off of it. I think this is a great tip and can really help a lot of people who are addicted to their phones.

  39. Nicholas Marinelli March 6, 2018 at 7:57 pm #

    Okay, so we all know that we live in a technological revolution that will last for the next hundred years, but the real question is- how are we going to deal with it? The hype surrounding the next device, application, attachment is always there, but there seems to be some hesitation when letting it completely encompass our lives. This makes sense, because well, it is our lives, but are companies constantly using us against our own good?
    In a 2016 article,, Gregory Ciotti of Entrepreneur wrote about the psychology of colors in marketing and branding. The results were actually extremely interesting to delve into and read about; the human mind just grasps and acts in accordance with certain colors and fonts more than “unappealing” ones. There are colors of Optimism (yellow), Friendliness (orange), Excitement (red) which often is the go-to for companies because it is the most eye catching, Creativity (purple), Trustworthiness (blue), Peaceful (green), and Balance (gray). Look at the different companies in your life and their branding and see how you react to them based on their colors. It never occurred to me how dependent a company is on their color schemes until now.
    It makes sense to see why New York Times writer, Nellie Bowles, gives reason to the “gray-scale” ideology. Gray is a neutral, calm color- millennials often ignore it and call it “old” or “boring”; now look at icons on your phone that are gray- The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Entrepreneur, etc. All “boring” and “old-people” type apps that do not involve fun games, laughs, or excitement. Therefore, it makes sense to change your iPhone’s display to the grayscale in order to trick your mind into believing your phone is boring and dull.
    In my opinion, grayscale unfortunately will not stop the epidemic of phone usage. It is now engrained in us and is essentially part of our everyday life; we start to get nervous when we forget it or God forbid lose it. We are dependent on our devices- no one knows anyone else’s phone numbers, address, or emails- we save it all to our devices. So in all honesty, grayscale is a nice alternative for a little while, but you will just get used to it and revert to your hypnotic, addictive mentality about your phone.

  40. Sylwia Marut March 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

    Phone addiction is an issue that many people in America struggle with, especially millennials. When smartphones were introduced to the market, they were released with the idea that consumers would be able to surf the web every once in a while, instant message, check emails, and connect more quickly with loved ones. However, companies began to capitalize on these devices and with the release of app stores on both androids and apple devices, suddenly, there became an app for everything. Meant to “make life easier”, people rapidly began relying on their smartphones instead of conventional items in their every day lives. Alarm clocks, notebooks, cameras, GPS devices, voice recorders, and even newspapers became often not needed or pushed to the back of the closet. Yes, sometimes it is easier to use a smartphone rather than some of these items in everyday life, but people have began to rely heavily on smartphones for so many aspects that when their phone crashed, died, or got lost, it became a major problem. I have seen people leave social events early because of a dead phone, or sprint to plug their phones in before they died. Phones have affected people psychologically, it is almost impulsive to hit the home button and check for notifications even though a person might’ve checked just minutes earlier.
    Smartphones have affected social interaction significantly. Going to restaurants these days is almost a sad event, families will go out to have dinner together only to sit on their phones while waiting for their food instead of making conversation. Younger generations are having a harder time developing social skills because most of the social interaction they have is over the internet or messaging apps. Companies are seeing a decrease in the interviewing skills of candidates and more and more people are opting for online video interviews instead of in-person ones when given the opportunity. We are raising a generation of people that do not qualify for jobs because they cannot separate themselves from their devices.
    Ironically, smart phones are making us anything but smarter. As this article from the New York Times mentions, people are recognizing the phone addiction problem and experimenting with different tactics to make people less prone to rely on phone usage all day. I believe the gray screens are a good idea because as the author points out, they are less stimulating, and makes looking at one’s phone a “choice” rather than a necessity. Due to the fact that smartphones are so new, the health effects of constantly using these devices and having them by our side 24/7 have not been fully studied and this article just validates the fact that smartphones could be a potential danger to our mental and physical health. In order to promote a greater wellbeing, more research and action needs to be put in to how to ween ourselves off of these “smart” devices before they gain more control of our lives.

  41. Jon Cortes March 9, 2018 at 7:34 pm #

    When going on our cellphones, the world around us often seems to disappear as we are caught up opening and looking at all the apps on our individual little screens. What most may not know is that the answer to less phone time, may be the idea of using a phone that less than perfect. If there’s nothing wrong with our screens, then there’s no reason for us to stop. It may take some getting use to, but if removing the color from your cell phone means less time on it, than I would gladly turn my to grayscale as well. In the amount of time we spend mindless searching on our phone, we could dedicate this time to going outside, walking in the park, studying for an upcoming exam, or even going to the library to check out a new book. There’s a clever irony in making something black and white in order to make it less appealing. Many moviegoers these days would most likely agree that they would prefer to see a new movie in color over an old one in black and white. There may be other ways to spend less time on your phone, but making it look old without the use of color is a great method for people to spend less time texting and more time being productive. Before cellphones, people had to communicate by talking face to face, sending letters, or talking to each other over a regular telephone. It’s possible that we’ve let technology overwhelm us a little more than we’d like, but it’s never too late to switch the cellphone to off, and get back to an alternative activity that is better on the eyes. People these days rarely spend time away from their cellphones. Even when they do, they are usually just watching TV, going on the computer or playing on their tablets. I’m not saying the answer to less screen time is turning everything to grayscale, but we owe it to ourselves to stop looking at devices for more than a few minutes, and rest our minds for a while as well. From the constant messages and calendar reminders we’ve put on our phones, it’s no wonder there’s always another reason why we have to look at our cellphones instead of just letting it go to voicemail. Perhaps if we were to make our phones less desirable through other means, we would reduce the amount of time folks tend to check their emails and apps. If more phones came in only one color, and had absolutely no cases or different varieties in stock, citizens would most likely get sick of the same thing, and probably get tired of looking at them all day. Another way would be if the screen was cracked, the phone wouldn’t work at all, forcing consumers to get a new one every time. This would most likely make a lot of people angry, but we need to remember what phones were created for in the first place. Talking to each other over long distances, around the globe. No matter the reason, less time on phones means more time for life.

  42. Senada Ramic March 9, 2018 at 8:47 pm #

    Technology has once again take over our lives and the key component would be our smartphones. In today’s society, our phones are part of our body. Attached right at the hip and any moment we don’t feel it there we have a heart attack. The first thing we do in the morning is check our phones and go on all of our social media sites. This article was very important and interesting to read. I never knew there was a grayscale setting in our phones and the article says that it is difficult to find it. One reason they made it so hard was so that we are kept addicted to our phones.

    The article stated several points that are true. Social media sites use specific colors to attract customers and keep them coming back. Our brains respond differently to every color and create different emotions. It was interesting to see that companies like Google and Facebook’s marketing teams are looking into neuroscience to get a better understanding to how our brains respond to colors in there apps. When looking at all the business around us we can all remember what color there apps are and that is how we can associate them. I like how the article talked about how switching to grayscale allows you to be in more control of your phone. This makes me realize that the businesses are very smart with their marketing and adverting for a reason, so that they are in control of us.

    In another article I read, the color yellow was a very good attention grabber (How Colors Manipulate). This is very true because when I open my phone the first app I usually go to is Snapchat because it is the brightest one that catches my eye. Another article stated that “there is clearly an established physiological mechanism through which color and light can affect mood, heart rate, alertness, and impulsivity” (Westland, Stephen). This is why apps use certain colors so that we respond in a certain way. Our phones, being so colorful has created an addiction because we want to keep checking the apps. As soon as we open our phone, we are blasted with all colors which leads to wanting to stay on the phone. I think if we have the option to change to grayscale that it would be beneficial for us and it would allow us to be less addicted to our phones. It is an interesting idea that I will look to try for a few weeks and see how I respond to it.

    Works Cited

    “How Colors Manipulate Your Emotions.” Brain Facts | Explore Your Brain and Mind, 30 Mar. 2015,
    Westland, Stephen. “Here’s How Colours Really Affect Our Brain And Body, According to Science.” ScienceAlert,

  43. Stefan Stangl March 9, 2018 at 10:44 pm #

    It baffles me how much a difference a smart phone can make but also take. The amount of time we spent on our smartphones now-a-days is an ongoing addiction we now have as humans to depend on technology to do everything for us. This article explains someone who is trying to take initiative and try to cope with the addiction little by little, like a cigarette addict using the nicotine patches. We have to try to find ways that make us feel less stimulating than our phones do. However, phone and tech companies will sell you their smart devices by making it more stimulating in real life. It is a never ending loop where we can try as much as we can to fight the addiction yet people still re-invent the smart devices to make them more stimulating so we buy them. The first step to treating an addiction is realizing that it is a problem in the first place, and I believe the world has slowly started to realize that. In this case, if making your phone grey will make you get off your phone for a bit so be it. It is a very smart idea to also make you check your phone less because constantly checking it waiting for messages can be a sign of anxiety. Furthermore, I have realized to take all my smart devices off of the vibration setting. The reason I do not that is because whenever I don’t have my devices on me I start to hallucinate by feeling the vibration even though I don’t have my apple watch on my wrist or my iphone in my pocket. This feeling gives me a sense of anxiety, making me believe I felt the vibration of a new message. In making technology less stimulating we might be able to focus on real stimulations that involve our very own earth and our surroundings. We adapt to our environment and evolve likes animals do, however, we are evolving on the dependence of technology.

  44. NF March 9, 2018 at 10:50 pm #

    Color plays a huge role on the interaction us consumers have with applications on our phones. App designers and founders strategically choose the colors and schemes for their applications. They understand that these colors partially define the value of their product. Colors are attention grabbing and aesthetically pleasing to look at. Even if an app isn’t intricate or purposefully, it may still be an excess due to the vivid imagery portrayed, and consumers slight obsession with it.

    Color is very important in terms of marketing and advertising as well, and plays a role in the development of phone applications. In marketing, marketers understand the capabilities of our brain and what each side of our brain is attracted to what. This theory is called split brain hemispheric theory. Split brain hemispheric theory revolves around the idea of our brain being split into two halves. Each half controls an aspect of our brain and way of thinking that is completely contrary to the other side. The right side of our brain controls creativity, and left side of our brain controls the more intellectual side that involves more tech based, quantitative, and qualitative concepts. To appeal to the right side of our brain, advertisers tend to incorporate colors, humor, storylines, and figurative/ metaphoric language. Contrarily, to appeal to the left side of our brain, advertisers tend to use statistics, numbers, surveys, and analytics. It appeals to the more practical consumer rather the consumer more on the artistic side.

    Most users of smart devices tend to be well balanced, in terms of which hemisphere they tend to lean more towards. Naturally, the left side is satisfied with most applications’ intricacy. However, the color aspect satisfies the right hemisphere of our brains, and is the reason behind why most smart device users are obsessed with their phone and its applications.

  45. Jerry Wu March 13, 2018 at 4:13 pm #

    I fully disagree with the title as well. Because smartphone products have become more advanced each year, making a worse and downgraded version of the phone will just seem useless. The world has become so dependent on smartphones that it has become a necessity and part of every day lives. In fact, more younger individuals have adapted to technology than ever before.
    It gives us the ability to run companies or complete our necessary everyday tasks in the work force, but I believe that we have become too “attached” to the fact that we can now use several social media platforms and use them for gaming purposes.
    In my opinion, the best way to solve this issue is to either dedicate only a certain amount of hours a day on the phone, or dedicate a whole day during the week were no phones are allowed to be used. The only problem I can see from this solution is the fact that technology is necessary to run the economy and how our world runs 24/7. The fact that more people are starting to abandon landlines to use cellphones instead is cost effective, but not effective when it comes to finding a solution to cellphone addiction.

  46. Timothy Wiamer March 13, 2018 at 8:44 pm #

    Over the last decade or so, the use of cell phones and the advances in technology have stolen our attention. We constantly feel the need to be on our phones. Whether it’s texting, Facebook, Instagram, or checking our e-mails, we have become addicted. There have been some efforts to break smartphone addictions. One that is currently trending means going gray. It has been psychologically proven that we are attracted to color. Facebook and other online applications purposely choose their color scheme to attract attention. Even when we are little, we are attracted to the cereal boxes that are full of color (like Fruity Pebbles or Froot Loops). We see bland colors and think “boring” or “uninterested.” “Companies use colors to encourage subconscious decisions.” When our brain sees too many colors, we are in a constant state of attention and our eyes and brain go on overload. The same goes for our phones. By going gray, we can control our attention and the need to be on our social websites. The concept of going gray is simple. We change the color scheme on our phone to gray instead of showing the bright colors of the applications. Many companies have invested in technologies to attract customers. They measure their brain activity and track the movement of eyes to see what colors pop and grab someone’s attention. Facebook is one of the biggest culprits but it is not surprise that they are not the only ones investing in such technology. If we go gray, we can combat the addiction. There have been numerous times when you want to go on your phone and check an email but for some reason you find yourself choosing Instagram instead. Let’s analyze this. The email icons across the board are not colorful. The built in mail app on the iPhone is white and blue, very bland. The Gmail app is white and red. Having a choice between those colors for an app versus Instagrams vibrant pinks and purples, it is quite obvious that we are going to choose Instagram. When all apps are “equal” in color, our attention shifts and we can focus on the task at hand. While this may not be a permanent solution, it’s definitely a great temporary solution to curb our smartphone addiction.

  47. Ryan Blume March 16, 2018 at 8:01 pm #

    Many people are addicted to their phones and something needs to be done about it. Based on my experience, there have been many times where I have had an assignment to do and I always procrastinate by looking at social media. The assignment that should have taken ten minutes really takes an hour all because I was distracted. The phone addiction problem doesn’t just happen this way, but it affects people in many other ways. “It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other…It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways.” (Gelles). When people are in awkward situations or in a room with people they don’t know, most of the time, they look at their phone to make it look like they are busy. Instead of having to deal with the awkward situation of meeting new people, the phone is used as a way to make people feel comfortable without talking to anyone. When people aren’t motivated to talk to anyone, people’s social lives are affected negatively. This could lead to disorders like depression. Phones are good to have, but if they affect people’s social skills or attention span, it’s a problem.

    One way for people to be less addicted to their phones is to make their appeal worse. Nelle Bowles tried this, and it seemed to work for her. “In an effort to break my smartphone addiction, I’ve joined a small group of people turning their phone screens to grayscale — cutting out the colors and going with a range of shades from white to black” (Bowles). When she did this, she was less tempted to look at her phone. From this, she thought that making the phone look bad would help the addiction problem. She cites prior research, from Facebook and Google, that says humans are more attracted to bright colors. Other investors know this, and they want to use that to help with the phone addiction problem. If more investors help people find ways to be less addicted to their phones, they can help people have better lives and be more focused. It will help ease the fear of phone addiction.

  48. Mark W March 22, 2018 at 1:48 pm #

    First, I would like to mention it’s amazing how far we’ve come in society when it comes to the use of cell phones. Its increasing drastically from generation to generation. I remember when I was younger I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was a freshman in high school. These days you have kids only 10,11, or even younger getting cell phones now. I feel like technology has taken over and I also feel kids these days don’t even play with toys anymore and their growing up too fast for their age. This explains why business such as “Toys R Us” are going out of business; yes people are still buying online but at the same time I feel kids prefer to be on their iPads, cell phones, and video game consoles instead of toys. I remember being a kid and going to “Toys R Us” was almost as good as spending a day at Disney World I was very excited about that.

    Now as we go back to the article, is the answer to phone addiction a worse phone? I would say yes because nowadays there is so much distraction and things you can do on smartphones today. Such as play games, social media apps, financing, music, and much more. If you choose to get a worse phone like a flip phone from early 2000s for example, then it would decrease your addiction because the only things you can do is either call or text. These smartphones today are basically mini computers on the go and you can do just about anything you want on them.

    I also have guilty pleasure of checking my phone and play games on it however, removing colors from my phone will work only to a certain extent. For example, when you look at the older flip phones there was no pictures or color and you only had the phone for business or safety reasons. Today, we have if for pleasure and there are colors all over the phones now. I will say without color can possibly decrease the use but not all of it because you’re still going to do what you want on your smartphones anyway. For kid’s color definitely attracts them for example, when go into the grocery store why do you see all of the animated colored cereals towards the middle and bottom rows, and basic Cheerios or Wheaties towards the top? It’s a marketing strategy because color and art attract kids similar to these iPads with colors, touchscreen, and different games. Technology today attracts and interest everyone to want to keep using these devices.

  49. Patrick Day March 26, 2018 at 2:58 pm #

    Innovators nowadays, especially companies that are related to technology, will do anything they can to attract as many customers and make them use their product as long as they possibly could. Even though most people would just see it as a simple color or shape, it goes into it a lot more than that, especially seeing a trend in the home screen of a phone that almost every application will have some vibrant color with a unique shape or symbol to it. Just as stated in the article, “Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone?” it states how “Color and shape, these are the icebreakers when it comes to grabbing people’s attention, and attention is the new currency” every company is doing everything they can to make people subconsciously be attracted to an app. Usually if I were to see the color red such as a notification for an application, I would be attracted to it since red is usually used for something important such as stop signs, traffic lights, fire alarms and many other things relating mostly about safety. A lot less people would be attracted to their phones if it was on grayscale since the color grey is a color no one sees as fun or exciting. In the article, the author Nellie Bowles states how the grayscale feature on the phone “Took like 40 minutes to figure it out. They buried the setting.” Companies like Apple could have made it easy to adjust the phone to grayscale but they were aware that they would lose the amount of time customers would be using their product if more people were to know an easy way to not be addicted to your phone.
    The simple color and unique shape is only one aspect of attracting customers through marketing. Marketing is a big aspect to the business world especially for big competing tech companies since each company wants to attract as many customers as possible to receive the most amount of profit to earn even more revenue to beat their competitors. Most people almost feel obliged to have at least a smartphone in the more developed countries in the world since almost everyone is dependent on it. As big tech companies receive more profit from everyone, they will be able to invest more money into research on more ways to attract more people such as tracking customers’ histories to see what kind of product or advertisement to advertise to make that customer relatable to what they are selling. I agree with the comment Lucas has stated about, “These companies are becoming smarter and smarter at customizing and strategically placing these ads over the screens to where people look the most” since companies will do anything they can to attract as many customers as they can and make them feel welcomed. Nowadays, anything that relates to technology and the internet will always be companies that will manipulate how the average customer thinks and make the customer do something that the company will get a profit out of it.

  50. Katie B March 27, 2018 at 1:34 pm #

    This is actually really interesting. Does it actually work? Will turning my cell phone screen to monochromatic keep me off of it? I am a artistic person, I’ve been drawing, painting, crafting my entire life. Looking at colors are just so pleasing and comforting to me. So maybe it would help me stay off my phone, however, I could just not do it.
    However, I don’t think that the color of my screen is making me addicted to my phone. I don’t know bout most people but I do not sit on my phone looking at my home screen. The argument the article states about making the app face a pretty color makes us want it, isn’t the main reason. I have never been in the app store and acquired an app because it looked colorful and pretty. I am on my phone to play on social media, play the games on my phone, text people. The apps, besides the games, are usually pretty plain when you are in them. Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, and messenger when you open them they have this light grey or white screen with the content on top of it. It’s the content with in the app that keeps me going back. It’s my friends also on the apps that I go back to. The mobile game addiction is a different argument because those are made to specifically get you addicted to them. Maybe color is going to keep me off my phone, but even if I didn’t have color I would be on it to look at what’s happening and to play my games.

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