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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100 Comments

  1. This article is speaking about and hits essential things that people of my generation need to know. We are the generation of smartphones and technology. We are so caught up in what our friends are doing and social media that we forget to look up from our phones. My roommates, for example, the first thing that they do when they get up is grabbing their phone and walk to the bathroom. They then sit there for 10 minutes trying to catch up on what was happening while they were sleeping with I lay in bed and ponder about how one could be so addicted. In my opinion, I don’t even think that they needed to do a study to figure out that if you turn your phone screen to black and white, you would be less likely to look at it. No one would want to use their phone as their toy anymore but more as the device that it was meant to be. When Ms. McKelvey, the chief executive of the marketing firm SalientMG, stated “It took like 40 minutes to figure it out. They buried the setting”. This you could have seen coming.
    Why would Apple want to have the setting so easily accessible? By having this setting present then more people would start using the black and white setting, making their products less addictive. This was a good strategy by Apple, to make their phones so colorful and irresistible that people want to be on it and want to buy the newest one. I believe it is sad though that the people of my generation are so addicted to their phone that if you take it away, they would not know what to do with themselves. Another sad thing is the fact that parents are always complaining about how their kids have their eyes glued to their phone yet they allow for the younger kids to theirs all the time.
    This really blows my mind in the sense that parents are getting their children addicted at such a young age. I guarantee that if you were to walk into any family restaurant, you would see someone younger than the age of 5 on some sort of device. I mean for goodness sake the restaurants now have the devices waiting for you on the table. Parents are now using things such as iPads and iPhones as ways to keep their children busy and quiet. Yet the parents complain when they take one of these devices away, and their child throws a fit. Here it indeed is a double-edged sword.
    Another point that the article brings up is that “if you have lots of color and contrast then you’re under a constant state of attentional recruitment,” and this is a problem for the younger generation. A tablet bigger than their heads with games that include a whole bunch of bright colors is definitely attention-grabbing. I fear that with this enormous jump in technology that the younger generation is going to have serious problems. Problems such as social skills and separation anxiety.

  2. Our Smartphones today expose us to an abundant amount of resources for various needs. Whether an individual wants to go on social media, check their email, study for an exam, play a game, the Smartphone gives you the ability to do a wide variety of tasks. These tasks can help productivity, but also decrease productivity because of the rise of cell phone addictions. I am a victim to the Smartphone addiction, so this article has helped me become more in control of my counterproductive cell phone use. I have the iPhone X and since I bought it, I have been tapping almost everything around me when my phone is not around. You have to tap the screen of the phone to light it up, so when my phone is not around I am tapping my calculator, desk, and couch reminding me that I have not been on my phone in a while.

    Why are we so addicted to our phones? We have grown into a culture of needing instant gratification when we post a picture on Instagram or Facebook. Before reading this article I thought people were addicted to their phones because of the attention. I did not even think about the subconscious need to be on our phones: the colors and shapes. At the end of the article, I immediately changed my phone to grayscale. I want to be in control of when and how I use my phone because sometimes I scroll endlessly on my phone when I could be doing something productive instead. After changing my phone to grayscale I realize how distasteful it actually is. Everything is without color and boring, but I am willing to try it out to see how it affects my craving to go on my phone.

    The tricks that colors play on your brain are so interesting. It is true, I would not buy a cereal box that is black and white. You experience the initial dislike without the color stimulation. Also, if I saw a colorless cereal box, I would assume that the company could not afford color on the box, therefore the quality is not like those of colorful cereal boxes. Companies are using these colors to attract our subconscious choices. The color on packages or the color in our phones are sending us messages of importance. Our attention is grabbed and we feel like we must prioritize these tasks. I like the idea of turning our phones to grayscale. It puts us humans more in control of the technology that has us hooked.

  3. I would be the first one to admit that I check my phone too many times a day for absolutely no reason. Like myself they’re are many people out their facing the same epidemic of being addicted to their smart phone. On the flip side of this most of us are addicted to our phones solely due to the fact that they run our lives, from email, to social media, to checking the weather in today’s culture the answer to the next day and so on lives within our hand. I would also agree with the fact that companies such as google due a great job grabbing the user in using colorful and appealing fonts. People like things that are exciting and bright and grab their attention right away. Another issue we are facing is that developers are making devices and apps much more younger friendly, this is allowing young kids to basically grow up off cellular devices or even iPads. But something that is interesting is to think is that how the world’s going? Yes, we shouldn’t have kids be playing video games on these devices twenty four hours a day, but giving them opportunity to use them and work with them on certain platforms I feel that put’s them a step ahead of some of their competitors.

    Now regarding the gray scaling of our devices I personally see this as great idea, and for the people who think it’s terrible you’re addicted to your phones and can’t admit it. By saying that I won’t gray scale my phone because it makes everything less exciting really means that you’re depending on the phone to give you a certain level of excitement everyday. That’s fine but to an extent, I think that this is a real great way to kick the addiction as it’s just not as sexy of a phone and as humans we like stuff like stuff thats glamorous. I think that moving forward companies should have to implement an option like this, but they won’t of course because they know that users would be down and they wouldn’t be generating as much money.

  4. The twenty-first century is surrounded by technology that keeps updating, getting faster, better, and now becoming addictive among all ages of people. I sadly come under one of the individuals that are addicted to their phone’s. I can recall a few times that I realized that I truly was addicted to my phone. For instance, my fingers travel to the phone by itself. I don’t really have control over them and if I restrain myself, I have this need to “just check.” There are also times where I just want to use my phone for a purpose, either it is to set a reminder, text my family members, or to just check the time; however, after that task is done I will go into other apps to “just check.” This actually brings me to the topic of how much I rely on my phone either it be for constant reminders, building my schedule in the calendar app, or using it to stay updated on my friends and updating them about my life.

    Social media has a huge impact on why so many young individuals, like me, are addicted to their phones. There is this huge trend in updating friends, family, even acquaintances on what is going on in our lives. For instance, I am guilty of, like many other individuals, taking out my phone during a get-together or an event. When I go out with my friends, I will take a picture through Snapchat and put it on my story, this way everyone knows what I am doing. Yet, I know the action is not necessary, but it is built in our culture.

    Nevertheless, phones initially are great tools to keep open communication between loved ones and keeping track of one’s schedule. However, the bright colors and different shapes are some of the few reasons that humans are addicted to their phones. I know from experience that I would not buy a product that is black and white. I would just lose interest since the bright colors and different shapes or designs are not present. Thus, one way to lessen the phone addiction is by making the screen gray; as the article states. I personally do want to test out this theory and see if I can be in control on when I want to use my phone.

  5. To me, the simple answer is no. This will not cure the addiction to phones. The technological advancements that we have made, as a country, have been astonishing. In fact, our technology has been growing so rapidly that I believe we all have a hard time keeping up with it. I mainly believe that this is the reasoning for all of our addictions to our phones and other technological devices. I think that because technology is advancing so quickly, we are all curious about the advancements which gets us sucked into this technology world without even knowing it. Once we take that first step into figuring out what all the buzz is about for a specific item, we immediately get glued to it and we cannot seem to get out of it because technology progresses faster every day which causes a domino effect with every other device or software they put forward. With this being said, I believe that it is okay to be addicted to our technology advancements because they are quite remarkable.

    However, I do not believe that a lesser phone will cure this “addiction”. The reality of the situation is that technology has taken over everything we do during our day whether that be at home, work, or at school. Once we find out what our technological devices can do, I don’t think that changing the color of the phone to grey, will impact whether or not we will be on it. It may make certain things less exciting but at the same time if you want to check certain apps or specific feeds to know what is going on with the world or your friends, you will still check that as often as you want. I think it will be hard to cure this “addiction” to phones and other technological devices because we live in a time where what we do at work, school, and at home, requires technology.

  6. I never would have thought that a way to reduce phone addiction and get people away from them would be to put it on grayscale. In a world where everyone seems to have some kind of smart device it is nice to know that some people are still out there looking for ways to keep people away from them. I am not saying that devices such as the IPhone, IPad, laptops, etc. need to disappear but I am saying that the addiction that people have to them does need to stop. I for one am not saying that I am not addicted because at times I am and would like it if I could get away from my phone more often. Imagine if you could go out to dinner with your family to a nice restaurant and not see people go on their phones but rather engage with each other and have meaningful conversations. Whenever I am out in public, hanging with family, or something of that nature I try my best to stay off my phone and actually talk to people. I find it to be very enjoyable whenever I am able to do this because it does not happen a lot of times. Every Sunday morning when I am home from school I go to mass at 9am with my family and I always make sure to leave my phone at home and not worry about bringing it. It is kind of a nice feeling to not always be checking my phone for alerts, going on Instagram, twitter, etc. because besides that time I usually am on my phone a lot. The world that we live in today allows for people to go on their phones for a majority of the time and not make it seem like it is a bad thing. In reality, going on your phone a lot is a bad thing because you are not engaging with the world and seeing all the great things that happen around you. After reading this article, I cannot make any promises that I will stay away from my phone more, but just maybe I will try out the grayscale and see how life is having a phone not in color anymore.

  7. I came across this article last week and decided to test out the theory by setting my phone in black and white for a whole week. The idea of having my phone in black and white was very interesting to me, I never knew it was possible to do so.

    The first couple of days I was completely astounded. Face-timing was black and white, snapchat stories and text messages. What stood out to me the most was Instagram. Everything was in black and white, it was remarkable. However, I found myself wondering a lot about colors. For example, what color clothing the individual was wearing, the shoe color, whether or not they had good lighting and the color of a product. I grew very frustrated halfway through week which caused me to set the colors back on every time I was on Instagram. I wish I could say the same as the author of the article but turning my phone screen to grayscale did not ease my twitchy phone checking. I was constantly on my phone and was able to use it just as if it was colored. However, I do agree that colors are designated to stimulate us. A world without color would be very dull.

    To answer the question, “Is the answer to phone addiction a worse phone”? I would have to say no, having a grayscale phone is not the reason of phone addiction. In terms of addiction, I agree with Erica because the only reason to phone addiction is the advancement of technology. I can definitely relate to this because when I was in six grade, I had flip flop while most students had the slide up keyboard phone. I have to say that my phone never saw daylight unless I needed to make a phone call. As I continue to upgrade my phone I started to become more of an addict. Erica is right because with our technology evolving, whether it is a phone or not, we do get caught up with the different upgrades or devices that are being introduced to market, and that is what causes our addiction.

  8. With the incredible advances in technology, especially in phones, it has caused many to become addicted to their phone. Social media has become important for many people because it is a great way to stay connected with old friends and family. This doesn’t always happen to be the case, many people are now addicted to social media and can’t seem to put their phone down. Personally, I spend too much time on my phone and have to remind myself to put it away. I usually have to do this by turning my phone off, so I can get work done.

    In the article, they talk about turning your phone black and white. The apps are created to draw attention to the user, so they constantly keep coming back. The black and white makes it so it’s not as tempting. Personally, if people want to stop using their phone so much I think they should switch back to flip phones. If they do this they won’t be able to get onto the internet and will stop them from using it as much as they do now.

  9. In todays, society we are dealing with a new addiction that many people do not even realize they have. The Addiction to cell phones is up and coming. I myself believe I am addicted to my cell phone and the apps on it. I always feel the need to check my phone and feel a separation anxiety when I do not have it on me or cannot look at it. Cell phones and the technology within in them have changed the world as we know it in such a short time. However, it has changed for the good and the bad. This is something that affects all of us as technology continues to grow. In our everyday lives we can all see the positives and negatives that cell phone use and technology has done. Cell phones and technology make so that we have anything we need at our fingers tips, helps us communicate easy and instantly, yet at the same time is making us less social in a world now controlled by social media.
    With a few pushes and clicks, I can watch a movie, play a game, or order food. Apparently, the smartphones in our pockets are more powerful than the supercomputers of the last several decades, which took up entire rooms. We Have anything we need at our fingers tips This article states how tech companies use bright and exuberant colors and stimulating shapes to draw a person’s attention to a phone. I feel that this has almost a memorizing effect on us, much like bugs to bright lights in the dark. This makes a lot of sense to me. While taking a marketing class we discussed how company’s want to catch your eye and have their products stand out from other products. You are more likely to look at something with bright colors then something with dull colors. One of the main points of the article is to try switching the phone to black and white screen display. This would eventually eliminate the attraction to the bright colors on the phone which in turn would maybe lessen the addiction. New phones are coming out every year with more and more technology and features that are to appealing not to acquire. Thinkink that this is the wrong direction that we as the world are heading in. When is technology going to cross the line and be too much for us to handle?
    We are simultaneously more and less social at the same time. We can communicate with anyone around the world now instantly but cannot talk to people right in front of us. We all see it everyday, people with their heads down, head phones in, ignoring anything around them. This is the truth and the world we now live in now. Technology can create elaborate social networks online, but lead to social isolation. Communicating online replaces face-to-face interaction, reducing the amount of time they actually spend in the company of other human beings. I believe that spending more time online with social networks can actually have an adverse effect on a user’s happiness level.
    Cell phones and technology make so that we have anything we need at our fingers tips, helps us communicate easy and instantly, yet at the same time is making us less social in a world now controlled by social media. Our world is changing for the good and the bad, and this is something we need to recognize. People now set aside time at the dinner table to put your cell phone down. Parents give their kid an iPad to have fun…. What happened to going outside? I leave you with this next time you are at the dinner table or walking around or hanging out with your friends look up from your phone, you will probably see a big difference in the world.

  10. Smartphone addiction is a real addiction as many people are constantly looking at their phones and kids are getting smartphones at younger and younger ages. I have only become more conscious of my own iPhone addiction because of the recent update where they notify you of your screen time and all the specifics of what you do with your iPhone every day. I personally have turned my phone use down, but I have not gone grayscale as in the article they do say that it is a hidden setting not mentioned and I have never heard about it until now. In my personal experience using my iPhone has been an integral part of my life and I often think I couldn’t last an entire day without. The extensive studies can be broken down to a simple thought process. If you remember to the days of elementary school in art class the teacher explains the different feelings that different colors bring to your mind and what these teams that study human psychology do is they take those basic concepts and apply it on a grander scale on phones. This has people addicted to the feelings they get as their internal senses look at phones to form an addiction that many people don’t even know they have. We have to become more aware of this because we lose our freedom of choice when we submit to letting these companies manipulate our minds with these devices that should just be simple tools for us to use. This isn’t just a problem for us but the younger generation that is growing up with these phones so young and so clueless to the effects of them. Personally, I think I will give grayscale a try as it is a great way to test the effects of the colors on myself and see if I really am addicted to my phone the way they say that I am. Also just having read this article I am already a step ahead of these companies as I know what tricks they are using so I have more choice over my decisions then those who don’t know about all this. Everyone should stay informed about this topic because if we are to grow the future generations to not be socially awkward and stuck in their phones then we need to get a hold of ourselves and our iPhone addictions.

  11. This article is very interesting. It is a must read for anyone who seems to be constantly drawn to their smartphone. Our minds respond positively to bright vibrant colors. As stated in the article marketers understand this concept. They use this trick to make us stay on our phones longer and to come back more frequently. Changing the colors of your smartphone to gray scale should help users break the spell. It is actually quite frightening to see how far many companies go to study what stimulates the brain. They can use their research to put it in their product in an attempt to manipulate the customer. Personally I can relate to this because I have an iPhone. I also have noticed instances when I would put down my iPhone and for whatever reason I pick it right back up. This article brought a lot of clarity on why that may be. Another scary thought is how we may not actually be in control of what we’re doing because of the colors and shape on our screens. The article mentions that colors can actually make us make subconscious decisions. Due to this disturbing fact it seems like a great idea for consumers to try turning their phone screen to gray scale. I am actually going to try to do this. There are too many times where I find myself seamlessly lost in my phone. This means that I will pick up my phone to check the weather, then i’ll end up scrolling through Instagram. I remember what it was like back when flip phones were the most technologically advanced phone on the market. The most that these phones were capable of was use of email. Either the user would send a text, make a phone call, or check their email. The simplicity of these phones did not consume our day nearly as much as today’s iPhone. The author of the article stated that once she switched to grayscale she feels she has taken back control. Smartphones were originally meant to make our lives easier, instead the applications on the smartphones seem to consume most of our day.
    Lastly, one aspect of this that is unspoken of is online gambling on our smartphones. Now we understand that colors and shape on our phone screens affect our brain. Should online gambling applications on smartphones be allowed to have colors. In this situation real money is being used. As opposed to simply staying on a social media longer and thoughtlessly scrolling. The fact that real money can be lost because of subconscious decisions due to colors on a phone screen is troubling. Gambling can be a serious addiction as it is. Combine this with the effects the colors on a phone screen have on our decision making and you can create a more serious addiction. If anyone has plans of online gambling they should turn their screen to gray scale to combat the effects colors have on your brain.
    From now on I will be more conscious of my screen time and how colors on the screen my affect my decisions.

  12. After reading this article, I actually switched my phone’s screen to grayscale. I use my phone every single day for multiple hours. I am going to try to keep in on grayscale for as long as I can because I, for one, am addicted to my phone at times. I can go on instagram when I am laying in bed and stay on the app for over an hour at a time. Phone addiction is a bad addiction for many reasons. It is bad for you to stare at a colorful screen for hours. Also, phone addicts tend to use their phone in situations when phones should not be used. There are two important times when someone should not be on their phone. One being in the car while driving. No one should even touch their phone while driving, but it happens to everyone. They see their colorful screen light up when they get a touch and feel a sudden urge to look at it. Maybe the greyscale could be a great way to keep drivers off their phone. The other time where phones should not be used is in the classroom. When you are in class, you should be learning and not checking your instagram feed. Many people in the classroom tend to get bored with the content and resign to their phones. Maybe grayscale will be help students pay more attention to their professor’s powerpoint rather than instagram.

    Hopefully turning my phone on grayscale will help my late night instagram and Clash Royale(best mobile game ever made) addiction. The colors on both of those apps are out of this world and draws the attention to quite a lot of people. Hopefully grayscale can help others and their phone addictions.

  13. I believe this is a fantastic idea for those who want to cut down on their screen time (including myself). In recent years, companies have been pushing stats down our throats to let us know that “kids nowadays are spending too much time on their phones” …and the sad truth is that, they are right. College students spend an average of four to five hours a day on their phones during a normal school day (Monday through Friday). This bumps up to 5-6 on weekends or days off. This statistic alone convinces me I need to make a change in my day to day phone usage, yet I still find myself on my phone for the same amount of time.
    I’ve seen many different variations of going grey, ranging from hiding apps deep in folders, putting phone restrictions into place limiting your time, and even cutting out internet access completely. I for one strongly push using phones in the workplace, because if used correctly, they become an extremely powerful asset. The issue comes with third party apps; those that are designed to keep you strolling.
    Cutting out part of the ‘stimulation’ of cell phones is a fantastic idea, and I’m surprised I have not heard of this concept before. When I first began college, I took a marketing course and did a report on the Psychology of Marketing. After looking through countless books, it was hard to find any information NOT commenting on the power of colors in marketing. People have gone so far as to create graphs and models about how different colors do different things to people’s minds, and that just seems so fascinating. For example, marketers use the color green in order to promote health, power, and money saving. They use red to create a sense of urgency, maybe regarding a special deal or coupon. Orange and yellow promotes optimism and living a better with a better mindset in life. The fact that marketers use these techniques obviously relate to the design concepts of apps on a smartphone and having the options to go grey makes me feel like I have a little bit more control over what I get to see. As we move more towards advancements in technology and big data, I think we have to be careful about screen time consumption on a personal level. We are shaped and molded by the actions of those around us, INCLUDING what we see from smartphones, TV’s, and billboard every day. I believe every opportunity to gain back some of that control should be acted upon, and I’m sure in the future this will be a larger issue than we believe. Laws and regulations will be passed regarding the frequency of advertisements we see, and people will be more aware of what that screen time is actually doing to them. In a perfect world, I could just tell myself to cut back on the texting, posting, and viewing of my phone, but we all know how well that works. Using these techniques like going grey can drastically change your responsiveness to issues and your overall productivity in the day. And as much as I will miss my Great Uncle ranting on Facebook or pictures of dogs on Instagram, going grey is a great step in controlling your screen time.

  14. Today, smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. Going without a phone is like going naked. People have become so dependent on their phones that they’re practically on it every minute. Cell phones have become such a big part of people’s lives it has become a necessity. Without a phone, there’s no texting, no calling friends, no picture taking, no communicating with friends through social networks, no games, no music. There’s no escape from life. There are no buttons to play with when things get awkward. There’s no device to constantly be on. It doesn’t seem like people would be able to survive without their cell phones to constantly be on. In other words, this shows that smartphones is a large source of our addiction. In the article, in effort to break her smartphone addiction, Nellie Bowles 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. She states, “the goal of sticking to shades of gray is to make the glittering screen a little less stimulating”. This is true because by stripping away all the neuron-stimulating colors on your phone, you are less motivated to check your phone in which can help end smartphone addiction.

    We all are aware that the colors are designed to stimulate us. In fact, Tech companies and marketers use these sort of color schemes and patterns in order to keep people locked in their phones. They are intentionally hacking our brain, by making us stay on our phones longer and to come back more frequently. For this reason, by putting your phone in grayscale, you’re minimizing the visual appeal of your apps and making notifications less eye-catching. Another point that the article brings up is that “if you have lots of color and contrast then you’re under a constant state of attentional recruitment.” According to Ms.Mckelvey, we don’t buy black-and-white cereal boxes, we buy the really stimulating colored one. For this reason, tech companies create these apps with really cool tiles, cool shapes and cool colors..to stimulate us.

    In addition, Bowles mentions that major investors were contacting Apple in hopes to limit their children’s use of iPhones and iPads due to “long-term health concerns.” In other words, larger companies are seeing this is as another issue that can affect children. Today, children are exposed to screens in school, daycare settings, and at home. In fact, children are exposed to more screen time than previous generations! Rather than playing outside or at home, children occupy themselves by using phones, iPads and tablets. It is clear that smartphone addiction among children is prohibiting them from actively exploring the world and relating to other human beings.

    After reading this article, I actually switched my phone’s screen to gray scale. I have to say, it’s been pretty effective. Going to gray scale certainly limited my phone usage because the colors didn’t stimulate me. Most of the people are addicted to Social Media, and so am I, especially Instagram. However, switching my phones screen to grayscale made Instagram seem less attractive. I see why it is difficulty to break phone attachment. All social media platforms have adapted the infinite scrolling design, because it works. We can’t stop ourselves from basking in jokes, memes, endless innuendos and anecdotes in the form of highly edited pictures. That’s what many people, including myself are addicted to. The endless scrolling. We just don’t know when to stop! Overall, I am not here to tell you that phones are bad. But these fantastic little devices so excel at holding our attention that they can get in the way of the real world. Society simply needs to realize this addiction and will need to work at it in order for us to be able to reclaim our lives.

  15. The idea of utilizing the grayscale feature of smartphones to cut down screen time is an interesting way of making phones appear less appealing. However, there are probably more useful ways of limiting the time you use your phone for. Apple has recently added a screen time feature into one of its software updates, now notifying you every week how long you use your phone for, and on what apps.
    The grayscale idea is not a bad idea either, but it is simply a deterrent for using your phone and making it superficially less enjoyable. I feel the screen time feature truly allows you the free will of using your phone and enforcing individuals to practice self control in appropriate phone use. I think it is important that people use their own self control in cutting down screen time. I feel relying on the monochromatic appearance is almost a manipulation to trick yourself into using your phone less. It doesn’t make you willingly tell yourself “enough” for the day or for the moment of using your phone. I think ideas like the grayscale feature for cutting down screen time contribute to the growing impatience of a technology driven society, where we expect everything to be done for us.
    Self control is not easy, but the more people practice it, the easier it becomes. I always felt I was never one to use my phone much. Aside from minimal social media, I use my phone to communicate with my boyfriend who is long distance. I did not realize how much texting contributed to my screen time and probably makes me use my phone more than the average user. It is the feature like screen time that pushes me to call more than text, and avoid spending hours on social media that could be used more efficiently in my work or leisure time. The real answer to a phone addiction is not a worse phone, but simply awareness in what we contribute our time to on a daily basis and a healthier balance between technology and reality.

  16. The way that apps are designed nowadays are built so that we can spend more time using their service. However, no one really looked into the aesthetics of what makes us glued to our phones for several hours on end. It turns out to be, that it is bright, beautiful colors with soft designs that makes us addicted. I like how in the article, they say that we are “simple animals, excited by bright colors.” In reality, this statement is very real. The more colorful and friendly looking the designs of the app are, the more attractive it will be to the human eye, resulting in higher traffic to their website/ app. The bright colors used to design the cover and interfaces of apps serve as eye candy to us and give an appearance of a user-friendly, welcoming app, rather than a dull, boring app. With all the aesthetic designs to so many apps, it can create an addiction, which can alter so many important things in life, such as productivity, old hobbies, and even your significant other. To combat this, a feature called ‘The Grayscale’ feature has been implemented to see how having no bright colors on your screen can lead you to not be on your phone for hours on end. It makes your whole screen grey, creating as little pleasurable stimulation as possible. I think it will work wonders because of how boring my iPhone screen will appear. It will not make me feel like checking my phone as often because there will be no ‘eye candy,’ no fun colorful images to the eye.
    On the other hand, I think that using the grayscale feature on toddlers and small children will be a miracle by saving them of iPhone addiction at such an early age. Additionally, I think it will encourage small children to use the iPhone and iPad to research things that they find interesting and not for just their personal pleasure and entertainment. In the long run, it will encourage children to find their true passion from an early age because they will use iPads and iPhones for reasons that satisfy their curiosity.

  17. Majority of our generation is addicted to their phones. Whether its social media or the internet, the iPhone play a daily role in our lives. After reading this article, it’s safe to say that I would have a tough time changing the color of my phone to grey due to my iPhone addiction. I know that I would be less attracted to my phone if there was no color. While looking at the GIF of the iPhone in the article, I was immediately unattracted to the colorless screen. It seems as if colors do really attract our brains and we are brainwashed into liking items that depict high amounts of color. Social media is filled with pictures and pictures of color. Therefore, it makes sense why users are so addicted to social media apps.

    This new idea of changing your iPhone screen to grey is quite intriguing. The thought makes me curious and reluctant to do it towards m phone. Personally, as a daily iPhone user, I wouldn’t want to check my phone anymore if it was boring. Often times people check their phones when they get notifications. Notifications are in different colors depending on the app. It makes it easier to recognize where the notification is coming from. If everything was in grey, it would be harder to acknowledge certain apps. Initially, this makes users want to stop checking their phones. I think this is a great way to stop addictions because checking your iPhone 24/7 is not healthy. There are other ways to prioritize your time and use it efficiently. I think this is a great idea and many people should take advantage of this new update.

    Eliminating use of technology puts us back in terms of communication and sometimes that can be bad. Since people will be reluctant to check their phones, this puts limits on notifying them in regards to any type of situation. In a way this holding a person back, depending on situations like emergencies the person will not be aware immediately. I think this idea is genius yet there are some negative impacts associated as well.

  18. When I started reading this article about a month or so ago I did not really think about it as much as I do now. I personally do not think I am addicted to my phone but the effects it has on us as a society today is pretty alarming. I actually tried doing this with my phone and it worked rather well. The author brings up numerous points about how addicted we are to our phones and the effects it has on us. By turning your phone to gray scale, you eliminate all the stimulating bright colors that catch our eye. An example from the article about this is that, when you go to buy a cereal box you do not buy the black-and-white boxes, you buy the really stimulating colored one, or what catches your eye first. Just like apps, “they have developed really cool tiles, cool shapes, cool colors, all designed to stimulate you”. Something very interesting from the article is the part about Thomas Z. Ramsoy, the chief executive of Neurons, which is a four-year-old company based in Copenhagen. His business uses brain scans and eye tracking technology to study apps, updates and future technology. The company measures the electrical activity of the brain while a consumer is interacting with a phone, such as texting and scrolling Facebook. The goal, Mr. Ramsoy said, “is usually for a product to inspire happy emotions and draw attention without freaking a consumer out. I found this very interesting and thought provoking. I really never understood why we click on things or why we buy certain things, but there is a lot of work and science behind it.

  19. After reading this article, it made it very clear what a “good” social media account should look like. I think a lot of people forget that having a social media account while looking for a job can be tricky because employers look for these accounts and they check to see who you are outside of the work environment. Employers do not want someone who has a crazy life, posting illegal activities, or simply acting in a way that the company does not support. It’s a huge issue especially for people who do not understand this information. I never thought of the clear line between personality and professionalism as the article points out. Employers want to see what kind of a person you are not just the work ethic that you can bring to their business, but what kind of energy will you bring in, and what kind of attitude you can bring. Another idea that I don’t think a lot of people understand is the difference between LinkedIn and Instagram. I like how this article points out the major differences for example what you should and should not post on LinkedIn and Instagram. Personally, I know some people who post things on their social media which are not appealing whatsoever to a company or employer. One of the biggest excuses people use is that “it can just be deleted” or “nobody will see it because my account is private” and honestly these are the worse excuses. It’s crazy that people do not understand the power of the internet and the fact that if an employer wants to find what they want to find, they definitely will. This article is such a good read and I am so thankful I came across it because it served as a reminder of how important social media is in our lives, especially when trying to get an important job/position. A lot of people my age is very immature when it comes to this topic, they don’t understand that anything that is put out there can be retrieved again, or the fact that employers will make it their mission to find out what kind of person you are. I am actually going to copy the link to this article and share it with my own friends to hopefully knock some sense into them, and make them understand that it’s not too early or late to start controlling their social media.

  20. I can actually really relate to this article because I too have a bit of smartphone addiction. According to the screen time tab in the settings app, I spend about 9 hours a day on my phone. This feature is generally new to iPhones but when I checked it out I was astonished to see it put into numbers. Currently, my top five most used apps are YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Chrome. From this, it is obvious that I spend most of my time on social media which isn’t too surprising considering it has taken over teens and young adults lives. However, by far my most used app is YouTube with about 27 hours per week. YouTube has become such a consistent content provider that it has overtaken television as my main video source. I will spend hours searching YouTube for anything to watch and clearly it has gotten worse. This is why I found swapping colors to be very interesting. Perhaps tricking my brain into being less engaged truly is the secret to cutting down on my screen time. On top of that using grayscale helps save battery life so it’s a win-win. I feel like more people should take on this movement and help cut down on the number of people constantly looking down at their phones.

  21. While I fundamentally agree that we use our phones way too much, our phones are nonetheless a necessity. I have been struggling for a while on how to reduce my average screen time of three hours a day. Things get more complicated in considering that our phones are a hub for our social and professional lives, and to an extent a certain base amount of screen time is required. That is why there is not a certain time I want to reduce to, because my usage varies so much depending on what I am doing and what is going on around me. This notion of grayscale is interesting though, because I find myself just checking my phone and swiping around the different menus and such as a way to pass the time. This is NOT healthy. I repeat, NOT healthy. I’ve noticed that, especially in social situations, my phone limits my interactions with the people in the world around me, and makes me feel that I am missing out on life itself. Then, though, if I completely ignore my phone, I will inevitably miss something important, as so many things run through that relatively small piece of metal and glass. There has to be a happy medium somewhere, right?
    For the past 2 years I’ve kept my phone on Do Not Disturb, though I allow for all calls to come through, obviously. The paradox here is that having my phone on this setting forces me to randomly check my phone periodically throughout the day, eventually falling into the trap of checking it every couple minutes in hope that something new will pop up on the screen.
    I have a lot of work to do in finding the healthy amount of usage, as do the rest of us. With that being said, it is not too late to tone it down a little, in terms of usage, though that is far easier said than done. Especially when our phones act as not only a source of communication, but also entertainment. There is nothing worse than hanging out with friends, only for everyone to be on their phones and not even actually hang out.

  22. Our society relies on phones so much it is very sad, we use phones for every single thing even o things that we should not even be using them for. Most people now spend bout 80% of the time on social media it takes away for the important things that we have to do. Phones have made us very lazy the fact that people can spend the entire day in bed on our phones. It is very unfortunate that our society values phone and social media in specific so much. It has had a negative impact on how we socialize with each other, learning how to socialize and communicating with people is extremely undervalued. We do not need to socialize like we use to when we have phones to talk to people. Since we have phones we do not need to learn how to properly talk to people and that is bad especially when we start considering jobs that people will have in the future. I think that our society has to learn how to use phones the way they were intended to be used and not rely on them to the point that they can’t function without their help. When our society learns how to do that then we should be able to be better off in this technology driven world that we live in.

  23. Technology is growing a rapid rate. With all the new technology, we can do almost anything off her phones and tablets. Everyone wants to get that new iPhone or the newest big thing on the market. With all these crazy features and updates, we began to get obsessed with them. Phones are so addicting that it kind of reminds you of a drug. This addiction has its negative effect on people just like drugs. I am not in anyway saying phones and drugs are even in the same category but it is a great comparison in reference of addiction. You really do not want to be on your phone every single minute of the day. It is truly not healthy mentally or physically. There is no real cure for this however. There is so much we can do on our cell phones that we will find a way to enjoy it as long as we have them. If we go back to the original phones without all these features, we could go back to just talking on a cell phone. It is hard to not want to be on your phone when it is right in your face all day. When I don’t have my phone on me, I don’t even feel normal. I need to have my phone around at all times. I know I am addicted to being on my cell phone and my eyes might will pay for it in the future.

    Being addicted to cell phones have effective people’s social life. I know when my family is together, everyone is on their phones all the time. We barely even talk at the dinner table or have group discussions. Cell phones are really changing the way we communicate. I can not imagine how life was 40 and 50 years ago. Truthfully, I wouldn’t of made it.

  24. I am addicted to my phone, plain and simple. I believe that today, phones are made to be addictive. Like anything else, our phones are made to have us wanting more. Whether that be another minute on our devices or even the newest model of it.
    The problem with this is that our phones distract us from tasks that we need to complete. I have already checked my phone twice since writing this because honestly, I am incapable of staying away from my phone. There are few tasks that I can complete that will deter me from using my phone to check my texts, social media or other apps on my phone. I constantly find myself giving myself “five more minutes” on my phone before I get up to complete a particular task. Checking my phone is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do before bed.
    I know that there are solutions to my problem, but the thought of detaching myself from my phone is kind of scary. It is a little pathetic to admit. I have over six hours a day of screen time, which is ¼ of the day.
    Now that I have read this article, I am considering taking some of the tips and seeing if I can reduce my screen time. I want to have more face time with people as opposed to “FaceTime” with my phone. Since these devices are made to be so addictive though, it is hard for us to fully separate ourselves from a device we have grown accustom to having as an integral part of our every day lives.
    But in order to fix our problem, we have to want to solve it. Is my phone really that much a detriment to me? Probably not. Am I really committed to fixing my problem? Absolutely not. I have a feeling that my phone and I are going to continue on the same way that we’ve been going since I got my first phone in the fourth grade, always within arm’s length of me because I have definitely become dependent on it.

  25. Suffering from a phone addiction has pretty much become the norm. Smart phones are easily the most common good that every person with the means of acquiring one has. I never really knew how much color stimulates our attention. Silicon Valley will continue to do whatever it takes to keep us glued to our 6 inch screens. It is crazy to hear that it took someone over 40 minutes to figure out how to gray scale their phone. The results prove that with a dark screen, people are less inclined to check their phones as often as they would with color. Companies like Apple and Google realize that on order to get our money, they must first grab our attention. That is the easiest way to our pockets. At the end of the day, humans are more simple than we like to admit. Flashing screens, apps, and advertisements with fun designs and colors grab our attention. We rarely use our black and white newspapers for information or advertisements anymore, proving that phones and the internet have completely overtaken the news and advertising industry.
    Nonetheless, it is inevitable that phones play a huge role in our lives. Is it really a bad thing for society that phones control us? After all, we have developed to the point where a small device has become our personal assistant. While it may control our attention, it allows us to organize our lives efficiently, and communicate like we never have. While I do believe that people should sometimes put the phones down and live in the moment, I think a minor phone addiction is completely justifiable. Technology continues to develop, we just have to respond correctly. Technology can control our lives as long as we are able to use it efficiently and not let it ruin our interpersonal skills.

  26. Smartphones have changed the way an entire generation thinks, functions, acts, etc. When first being introduced to the world, smartphones had been a marvel and something that the world had never seen. It was a sign of what the future of the world would hold and how technology was going to impact the way the world worked. Today, many people are now calling the leading cause of anxiety in many teens and saying that essentially smartphones are negatively affected people all over the world. Being someone that has a smartphone (like the other 90% of the world), I find that my phone has definitely changed the way I am and I think most people feel the same and are unhappy about it. I got my first iPhone when I was in middle school and my brothers did not see their first iPhone until at least high school in which they were introduced to the earliest version of either an iPhone or iPod. Today, I am seeing that many children are having iPhones are some sort of smart device. Children are being introduced to a world that I can account for on first hand is something that no children is prepared to have apart of their life. Having an iPhone has made me become extremely dependent on always having this device with me and it has led to many ways in which I find has negatively affected my mind. It has led to me constantly check my phone regardless of what I may be doing leading to having a much lower patience and constantly wanting things immediately. My attention span has become much more diminished as my phone allows me to be constantly doing something at an extremely fast rate. It also caused me to become very social awkward in certain situations until I was able to recognize that it was an issue in which I have worked to eliminate my usage of my phone in social environments. Now, the invention of smartphones has been one of the most brilliant technological inventions that the human race will ever see, but it is definitely negatively effecting the minds of people all around the world especially children who are being introduced to this technology at too young of an age.

  27. In today’s world you do not walk a single step without either checking your own phone or seeing another person walking with their phone. In the current generation, the addiction to the phones is almost unavoidable and with the increases in technology, people are buying new phones like it is nothing. To me, that is the biggest problem. People are addicted to the smallest of upgrades just because it is the “norm” so they conform to society and buy a new phone. Even though the upgrades usually aren’t that wild, people are still so quick to buy them because of either the colors or the “crazy” new things they offer. Because of this, people are so addicted to their phones, constantly checking social media and play games, and almost nothing good comes out of it. Things have tried to be done to try to reduce this addiction from more parental control to limited use of the phones, but it always leaves us wanting to get back on our phones.

    Reading this article was very eye-opening to me, because the idea of dumbing down our phones to make them less attractive is very simple, but from experience of the author very effective. This generation is so attracted to bright colors and cool designs, and these phone companies know that. Because they know that they market their phones in the best way possible which gets kids more and more addicted. However, this suggestion could be one of the simplest solutions and try to get kids off using their phones. I know if I turned my phone to grey settings and turned the sound off, it would be super unattractive and I wouldn’t want to go on it. The same goes with anything else, if a product looks bland and boring there is no way I would purchase it. Because when we actually boil down and figure out what phones are for do we need all of that extra stuff? Do we need to watch that extra Youtube video or play around with different apps?. Phones should be used for communication and gaining knowledge. Without color on phones and taking away some of the features phones offer, they wouldn’t be as popular as they are now, because people would not want to use them as much.

    Along with the addiction to technology, it is ruining the younger generation’s ability to communicate and form ideas themselves. We are losing such vital skills because we are so addicted to our phones. It is imperative that a solution is figured out to dumb phones down, because I believe that is a great idea and could be really effective. This idea of losing color on the phones from this article really is a clever idea, because there is science behind it that backs it up because no one likes looking at things in black and white. I hope this article reaches a lot of people and I myself might even try to see what it would be like with a black and white phone.

  28. After reading this article I believe that first, phone addiction is definitely a real thing and one needs to limit their time on their phone in order to have personal human connection that one needs in order to sustain full happiness. It seems that almost everyone is suffering from phone addiction in society which is something that nobody should be enthused with. When the article said that we need to potentially get ourselves a worse looking phone in order to sustain a normality and keep ourselves away from the new technology that is slowly plaguing our society. I believe there is a simple counterpart instead of going out of the way and spending more money on a worse phone. In order for one to get away from the wonderous technology that we use everyday we need to set up a daily limit for phone usage. If people do have iphones, and also have the new IOS update, there is a feature that shows our phone usage and the amount of time that we spend on the actual screen and how much time we spend with our screen locked. In addition, I believe there is a way to monitor this on Android phones. If one can take advantage of these features one can definitely find success with how they interact with others and could possible help people pull away from their phones. Getting a new worse phone should be the last resort to solving the issue even with some of its positives that it brings along. There are positives like lest distractions with the new phone, but it could bring up issues such as getting fed up with the lack of technology and the fear of not fitting in. In conclusion, we as a whole can solve the problem of phone addiction if we can learn to stay off our phones, especially when we are driving and with people, we hold dear to us. With the invention of the app store we can use different apps to keep us away from our phones and even use the technology encoded on the programs to set daily limits for ourselves such as a basic amount of 6 hours a day on our phones and only answer to important phone calls. It turns out there is a solution to such problems that plague our society.

  29. The author of this article described a small movement of people taking a head on approach to alleviating their cell phone addiction. In an effort to become less stimulated by the cell phone, people have been turning their phones on the grayscale color setting, which turns the display of the phone and all of its applications and icons black and white. The author describes how he had been gray “for a couple of days” and how astonished he was at how less stimulated he was to check his phone constantly.
    What I found important about this article is how the author described the health implications, specifically for young children, that over use of tech products like iPhones, iPads, and other technology alike can have on the decline of long-term health. The addiction to these smart devices is a serious matter, and companies are aware of it.
    Also, I found it very interesting to learn about the company Neurons, which the electrical activity of one’s brain is studied as that person uses applications and technology. They observe what it is that makes people most interested in a product, service, or company. The fact that there is a company devoted to tracking this information is a serious indication of the impact of technology on our daily lives.

  30. Who would’ve thought color is so important for our understanding of priorities and emotions. Color to the human eye is much more appealing than your basic gray and black screen. That being said, the new trend of turning your phone screen to grayscale is becoming so popular and has lots of benefits to it. Man of us like myself had no idea that even exist, and according to the article, Ms. McKelvey indicates how “It took like 40 minutes to figure it out. They buried the setting.” For Apple that was a smart move for them because it makes us consumers more likely to use and check our phones frequently. However, for Apple users, we become addicted to always feel the need to check our phones, and that’s when the grayscale option comes in great use. “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.” The comment above was taken from the article and it sums up perfectly what and why we humans should go to grayscale. We love colors and enjoy the look of it all. Going gray just makes everything boring, however, we become much less addicted to our phones. We break out of the habit of the social norm of having to check it constantly within a day.
    Does going gray only help becoming less attached to our phones? The answer is no! This YouTube video, WHY YOU SHOULD REMOVE ALL COLOR ON YOUR IPHONE / THE BENEFITS OF BLACK AND WHITE ( GRAY SCALE USE) explains all the benefits when you turn your iPhone into grayscale mode. The one that caught my attention is that it also helps with battery life. For some reason, my iPhone dies very fast, and if going gray will help the battery last longer, that would be another reason for me to go gray as well. I wonder how many more conversations, and face to face interactions the population would have when not attached to their phones as much when it is on color mode. That would be an interesting experiment to test out. In all, I would recommend trying this new trick, and see how the results turn out!

  31. As someone who will admit they are addicted to their phone, I was curious about this article and how they said that people are attracted to shiny and bright objects and that those are the ones they are most likely to buy at the store. This relates it to our phones because we’re all addicted to looking at it due to their bright colors. While in the past, this could have been a valid point that people don’t want to look at a dark phone screen, just a week ago, Apple released a new update to put everything on your phone into Dark Mode. From your messages to your apps, like Twitter, the backgrounds all have a black background if you choose and notifications are a dark grey color now. For me, I hate looking at a bright phone screen with brighter colors so this update was something I was waiting for a while. I can’t go long without checking my phone screen and my phone is never far from me, whether it’s in my hand or my pocket. It’s an addiction I can’t seem to break so making the screens greyscale seemed like a good idea at first, in fact, it has just made me check it more often.
    A look of a grayscale phone is definitely something that appeals to me more than the bright colors of our phones now. This dark mode on the newest iOS is something I was waiting for and when it finally came to my phone, it’s made me, if possible, check it even more often. From a black background to black notifications and messages, it makes it easier to stare at my phone for a longer amount of time without my eyes hurting. I would always try and limit my time at night staring at my phone due to the bright operating system I was stuck with. Now with this option of dark mode, I’m able to stare at my phone longer without my eyes hurting. To me, greyscale screens would only help my addiction rather than help me break it.

  32. The saying a person eats with the eye is true. The way a restaurant displays and plate a plate of food with various colors capture their attention to that plate of food. A colorful plate looks delicious, but a classic plate with no colors is less appetizing and dull. This is the same with a phone our eyes are attracted to the thing that is of color that reminds of joy or happiness. The company markets its apps full of color because they know that colors sell. Which then for the consumer like me most likely will download or buy it because it does look appealing.
    I completely agree with the article that changing the phone to grayscale could most likely cause people to stay off their phone. But it is not a possibility because there are still sounds notifications to a phone that will cause a person to automatically look on their phone. Another possibility is that a person mind is already set on the apps they have on their phone. They are likely to still go on the phone any possible time it does not depend on the color. For instance, a person battery is dying on their phone instead of placing it down to charge, a person might use it until it dies. All things considered, we all should give the turnings our phone into grayscale a try and see our outcome. It could work to cause people to spend less time on their phone because no one likes a dull phone.

  33. In today’s modern and technologically advanced world, phone addiction is a real thing. Just while reading this article and responding in the comments, I have gotten distracted and picked up my phone at least 10 times. I am definitely not the only person who does this. This article made a very good point in the fact that color really makes things more visually appealing and catches our attention. For example, nobody in today’s day and age really enjoys watching movies in black and white because they are labeled “boring.” Black and white films tend to not be visually appealing to today’s audiences and the attention span is increasingly smaller compared to a film filled with bright colors and movement. If this is the case with movies then I would have to agree with the article that it can also pertain to cellphones. Although I have not personally tried the grayscale features on my phone, I would assume that it would work the same way the black and white films do nowadays. The less visually appealing it is, the less attention it will draw. I know that at least for me, I spend the majority of my time using different apps on my phone which draws me away from the real world. If my cellphone was less appealing to the eye, then I probably would have a higher attention span and would be able to focus better on real tasks rather than being distracted by social media. Overall, I think the author of the article is absolutely correct in the fact that phone addiction could be helped by the use of grayscale.

  34. The ongoing topic of the pros and cons of advanced technology will continue to be a conversation in this era. Technology is becoming part of human’s everyday life whether is be a work, home, or school. However, I do not necessarily be a bad thing. I think it is important for children today to have technology accessible to them. Technology will only become greater in the coming years so to develop an awareness of simple technologies such as IPhones and IPads at a young age will arguably help them years later when they get a job where their knowledge of technology will benefit them. If you take adults now, for example, the “baby boomer” generation and look at their technological skills, they are arguably left in the dark. When new technology invaded their jobs and everyday lives they had to learn everything from the beginning because it as not accessible to them as kids. Today, businesses are looking to hire people that already know new technologies so they do not have to spend the time and money to train them. The baby boomer generation argues that they are thankful IPhones weren’t around when they were kids because they were able to live normal lives, but with people in certain professions, it would have helped them advance their knowledge from a young age if these technologies were around when they were kids. However, I do agree with the argument in this article that phones are incredibly addicting. Checking my phone is this first thing I do when I wake up, before I go to bed, and in essence, all of the hours in between. This aspect can be dangerous for children because it distracts them from the real world, but a healthy amount of technology will not hurt. On the other hand, I did find the color aspect of this article interesting. I did not suspect a little change such a color to impact one’s use of their phone. It does make sense because color is appealing, and no one wants to look at a black and white phone screen because it reminds them of black and white televisions that are outdated. I might consider changing my phone screen to black and white to see how it affects me, especially when my phone is a distraction when I am studying or doing homework.

  35. This article is one that I can relate to on a personal level. I, like the author, had an addiction. Not drugs, or alcohol, it was an addiction to my phone. I could not stop looking at it, even getting so called “ghost vibrations” where your mind is craving the phone so much that it tricks you into feeling your phone vibrate when it really didn’t. At its worst it really kept me from being fully present in any social situation I was in. A little part of my mind was always tied up in the phone, which is not only unfair to whomever I was with, but also unfair to myself. I eventually decided that I needed a change, something drastic that would give me little reason at all to check my phone. The change I implemented was getting rid of all of the social media apps from my device, and boy did it work. The “screen time” function present on most devices, mine included, showed my time cut down to less than half. What this article proposes is another way of breaking the addiction: to take the color away. This has affects reaching back to our most basic human nature, and also important points to talk about regarding marketing and design.
    To understand how our phones play into human nature, we need to remember how simple we are in what we enjoy, and what catches our attention. Humans like shiny things and bright colors. So now we need to think about how phone screens look… bright with many different colors. For this reason we are constantly attracted and entertained by our phones. In a way this is a relief to think about because it gives us an excuse of why we are all so addicted to our devices. Nevertheless, it is a serious problem for us, and one that can be easily solved by just turning off our phones ability to display colors. This basically causes us to be disinterested in our phones. Every time you pick it up to check it, or log on to social media, everything is just bland and grey. This gives your mind a break from its attraction, maybe instead of looking towards the phone your mind would decide to look at everything around you. That is a great thing. But this isn’t strictly a human nature problem, the designers and marketing ideas that goes into phones are also to blame.
    The goal of any designer, whether it be a phone or an app, is to get attention. This is a great thing for profits, but not such a great thing for the consumers that fall victim to the design. Companies spend millions and millions of dollars on research and development every year to get people to first look at their product, and keep them coming back again and again. Further, a significant amount of focus is put into just the colors that are being used. When this is realized, it is easy to understand how we as a society have gotten to this point of phone addiction. What turning the phone screen to black and white does for this issue is to take away that subconscious attraction to color that we struggle to resist. Overall giving us more control over how often we look at our phones, and allowing us more time to enjoy the real world around us.

  36. This article really stood out to me. First of all, I had no idea this was even an option. Just as the article says, you really have to dig for it. After reading this article, I actually went and turned that on for myself, and I actually had to google and read 3 different sets of directions because of the recent updates with Apple since this was written.

    I do believe that color plays a huge part in priorities. If you think of a basic apple setup, you have green apps for phone and message items. When I think green, I think go. It’s a positive signal for me, personally. However, the app badges (when you get a notification) are red. To me, red means stop everything and look. You stop at a stop sign because it’s red and red means examine; examine your surroundings and then proceed. When you see that red little notification on your messages app, you could have the initial reaction to stop everything and check that message.

    I’m extremely excited to see if this makes any difference and slows any impulses. While I’m usually pretty good about walking away from my phone for a bit and not needing to be glued to it, I’m curious what impact it’ll make in my downtime. It’s an interesting idea and I’m glad I came across this.

  37. Phone addictions are becoming an increasing problem this day and age. With all of the technological advances that are becoming available and known, new technology and devices are on the market for consumers. One of the best things that has been invented is a smart phone, defined as a mobile phone that performs the functions of a computer with a touchscreen, internet access and operating systems that make application downloads available. The reason people are buying smartphones is for the accessibility to everything a small phone can provide. What has happened more recently, especially with millenials is that people are becoming addicted to their phones. Normally when a family goes out to dinner, it is to enjoy their meal and bond together, but now while families wait for their meals to arrive, they all sit on their phones with no interaction to each other. It is crazy how fast times have changed.
    Something that stood out to me in this article is the solution for how people don’t use their phone as much. The solution is if the colors are in grayscale, it will make one not want to use their phone as much because it isn’t as appealing to look at. Color is appealing to the eye and makes one want to look at whatever is displayed. Personally I wouldn’t want to only have a gray scale on my phone. The iPhone is expensive as is and when you buy one, you know you’re paying for the display the phone gives off which includes colors. If I am paying for a phone, I would like to utilize every feature the phone has to get my money’s worth. I don’t necessarily think that using a gray scale is the best alternative to not having a phone addiction, I think it is more of learning and managing time spent on the phone. This won’t happen overnight but it is something to consider and be more mindful of.

  38. This article was very eye opening and brought up different issues to mind. Although the article talks about switching from the vibrant display of modern phones such as the iPhone to a greyscale display. Phones now offer this feature as well as sleep display to make colors that pop, less eye bothering and more relaxing. When updating my phone, a couple of months ago, I saw that this was on the new additions and I was very confused as to who would use this greyscale feature. I had never thought about using the feature as a way to slowly stop using my phone as much but it could be very helpful. As a young adult, similar to many other people, I am very invested in my phone, using it for most things from checking sports scores, the weather, social media, and talking to my friends and family. In my own experience, the only way for me to ease off using my phone has been to stimulate my senses using something else. This usually includes playing sports, as I am always trying to be active. When I am playing football with my friends, checking my phone does not cross my mind. Although the idea of using greyscale as a way to minimize phone usage seems very intriguing, I don’t think it would be a plausible idea for me. I use the sleep display settings on my iPhone after 9 pm in order for my eyes to get ready to sleep. I don’t know if these settings really do help in aiding the eyes for sleeping, but I do feel some comfort when using this setting before bed. I think the best way for people to reduce the usage on phones is to become more social and doing things not requiring their phones. This includes going to spend time with friends and family or enjoying a sporting event. When I do either of these things, I hardly use my phone and it is very beneficial, as you are able to obtain better relationships and more personable relationships.

  39. After reading this article, it only makes sense to me why the color from the phones screen would attract people to it. In one of my marketing classes, we talked about how the color of things attract people to it (i.e. cereal to little kids.) Like this article stated, people aren’t going towards the black and white cereal box that doesn’t grab their attention, their going towards the boxes that are colorful and light up the eyes of kids. It seems so crazy to me how attached we have all become to our phones, and how going a few hours without it seems to be the end of the world. I actually want to try this gray scale feature that the article talks about.
    One feature from the phone that I find useful is the do not disturb. I use it at night while I sleep, and I think it’s more of a peace of mind things for me. Not that my phone blows up in the middle of the night, but I think I’ve gotten a better sleep while using this feature. I like that there are features that apple has incorporated into their phones to cut back on the usage, it says something about Apple as a company.
    Apple, as we all know is a very successful company, and if they did not care about their customers and “long term health” as this article seems to go into, they would not have these features on their phones, because it wouldn’t matter to them. They have their money, and their customers so why would they invent an app or feature to get people off of their phones? I think overall, the idea of Apple having these features to incorporate into the phones is great to try to get everyone off of the phone and more active in the everyday life. Phones can be a huge distraction when it comes to actually being involved in the moment. I, as I’m sure many of you are, am guilty of this.

  40. This article was very intriguing and eye opening. It would make sense why the bright and vibrant colors of the smartphones attracts so many people to it. I agree with the article when it says that people would spend less time on their phone if the colors were not as present. For example, if the phone was on the gray-scale setting, it becomes less appealing to the human eye, therefore, will cause people to be less attracted to the phone itself. Because of the bright colors and each app having its own unique color and look, it draws people to become addicted to their phone. Let’s look at the modern display of the phone, the messages app is bright green and then social media such as Instagram is a variety of eye popping colors. It has a magnet to the human eye. As soon as someone opens their phones they are drawn towards the Instagram or messages app immediately. Personally, as a young adult, I am on my phone constantly whether that be texting, checking my inbox or checking Instagram or snapchat. I know as soon as I open up my phone the first thing I check is my Instagram and then go through my other apps.
    The first time I had really noticed these new features to the phones was when I updated my phone. I noticed they added the option for gray-scale and thought to myself why would anyone want to put their phone in all grey. Now after reading this article it makes sense. I did not think that by putting the phone in the gray-scale mode that it would cause people to stop using their phone as much. Some of the other features that Apple has implemented in their recent updates is the night display. Putting your phone in night display mode can help get your eyes ready to sleep. This is the same idea as the gray scale. Overall, Phones can be a huge distraction to everyday life ad disrupt people from being more active. The idea that Apple had with the gray-scale option implemented into the phones is a great idea to get everyone to use their phones a little less and be more involved in everyday life.

  41. I came across this article last year, and I decided to test it out for a week. Unfortunately, it did not work out the way I had expected. The point that the author was making did not align with my phone addiction. For those of you who did not read my comment from last year, I did exactly what the article said to do by turn on the grayscale on setting on my phone. What I realized was that I was attracted to the colors; therefore, It was very frustrating for me to be on social media and get the full experience. My frustration led me to switch back to colors when I was on social media.

    This year, I decided to do it with my friend. My friend was pretty successful at not switching back. She enjoyed the experience and mentioned that the author was right. The grayscale took out the need for her to constantly go on her phone and check social media unless she had to call or text someone. In addition to changing to grayscale, she also took out her notification for all of her social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram, and a few games she had on her phone. She also had a strong control over the time limit she set for herself. She told herself that she would go on social media once a day, and that is what she did. After a few days of being on grayscale, she did not find the need to go on social media because she was not interested in all scrolling through a bunch of black and white pictures.
    Sadly, this year, I did not possess the self-control that my friend had. Whenever I was on social media, my phone was in the color mode. However, I did not have the need to always be on my phone. I said it last year, and I will repeat it, a world without color is very uneventful; and both my friend and I were able to agree on that. I highly recommend anyone who reads this article to try this out for themselves. You may find that your addiction may be because of all the attractive features that the phone provides access to.

  42. I really think this is cool article. I really enjoyed reading this because we don’t really think about this topic. I started to think about this and yea generally people are more attracted to vibrant colors. And that is with almost everything. People don’t want to see dull colors and that’s why so many fast food places having colorful signs like McDonald’s and Wendy’s. They have colors with yellow and red and other bright colors which attract customers. And I use my phone because it is bright. And I think that’s why I get distracted so fast. When someone texts me I end up looking at it because it pops out especially when I am sleeping at night. Companies have realized that they need to choose eye popping colors in order to get attention. And the way it is displayed is so addictive. And this article is correct when they say that people don’t spend that much time it the display is dull and grey compared to being vibrant. Every app I open like Snapchat or Instagram is so bright and that’s why I end up opening those apps before.

  43. I found this article to be extremely interesting as I am currently trying to cut down on my screen time with my iPhone. I think that after reading this article, I will try to use the grayscale option in the accessibility settings. It was interesting to read that the tech employees are even warning their consumers about the addictive nature of the products that they have made themselves. The article made a good point that “You don’t buy black-and-white cereal boxes, you buy the really stimulating colored one, and these apps have developed really cool tiles, cool shapes, cool colors, all designed to stimulate you,” which makes complete sense.

    Occasionally, I will download an app simply because of the visual stimulation that I get when I look at it. There are many addictive games on the app store, posts on various social media, and videos that are placed on the available apps that pique my interests just based on how they look. It was interesting to learn that companies will use specific colors to encourage subconscious decisions. While taking a marketing class during my freshman year, I learned about how color theory affects consumers psychologically and their buying decisions. I can see how color theory parallels with the high usage of more visually stimulating apps. One big takeaway from this reading is that the counteractive method of reducing this distracting stimulus is called “controlled attention” and one way to exhibit this method is to change the settings on my phone to grayscale colors.

  44. As somebody who spends way too much time on their phone, I found this article very interesting and useful. There are many tips to think about to avoid falling into a black hole with your smartphone. It is very fascinating to learn about all the different ways companies like Facebook and Instagram take to attract people to using their application and staying on it for a long period of time. I was not aware to how important having appealing colors and shapes were for applications in order to grab user’s attention. After reading the article, I looked at the applications I use most on my phone, and all of them were very colorful and featured designs that catch my attention. One of the major suggestions of the article to help users stay off their phones is using the grayscale feature, which makes everything on your phone appear in black and white. While I believe this would definitely help me stay off my phone, I do not feel it is necessary to sacrifice seeing images and videos in color. There are so many beautiful pictures and vivid videos for me to observe and marvel, which overrules a small need to reduce the time I spend on my phone. One thing that I will take away from this article is to not download unnecessary applications on my phone only because of the physical appearance of the application. There are an infinite amount of applications to waste time on, it is up to users to realize which ones are worth their time.

  45. I found this article to be very interesting as well as relevant to this day and age. Everyday you see people with their phones or tablets in their hands as if it is an extension of their own body. People use their phones not for the intended purpose of communicating with others but actually to waste their time on. I am someone who was once blinded by the false business a phone gives. I never truly considered the option that the variety of colors and displays could be a reasoning for my need to be on my phone but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that most of my apps have very colorful thumbnails causing an attraction towards them. Even with the simple example of photography, we all want a picture to be bright and vibrant and marketers for phones and apps have used that same strategy to grab their consumers attention.

    Changing the colors of the phone is a great starting point but I do not believe that it is the end all be all for a phone addiction. There needs to be a lot more that goes into the transformation but color gradient change is a great first step.

  46. Published by the New York Times, Nellie Bowles article ” Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone” addresses the serious issue of technology dependency many adults face. While most probably will not admit it, many people are very reliant on their phone and spend the majority of their absorbing something from a computer screen. Many people find themselves wasting hours on their phones do not realize where all their attention is going.
    Bowles promotes the idea that if people change their telephone screens from color to a greyscale, they will be less apt to waste time while using it. She believes that the colors used in technology control our “Attentional System”, and that as humans we are more susceptible to bright and colorful distractions. Personally, I agree with both Bowles’s claim as well as her solution. As a consumer, we are automatically more inclined to pick products that we believe to be more vibrant and attractive, so it makes sense to assume that the same concept would apply to apps we use on our phones. If people go on their phone for one specific task, it is more often than not that they will get distracted and end up on a different app entirely. Bowles faults a lot of this on the idea that people are ” simple animals” and we will always have a tendency to be drawn to bright colors. Overall, this notion can be very alarming. If people’s attention spans simply depend on the difference between bright and dull colors, that can give technology and app producers substantial power over their consumer. Bowles expresses how the color in our phone essentially takes away our control of “Choice”. Companies can use colors intuitively to persuade their consumers to use and/or buy their products. Bowles argument that the less color on our phones allows us to restrain from using our phones and letting companies subconsciously waste our time. People, including myself can overlook the fact that a company’s main goal will always be to generate profit. It is important for consumers to take that into consideration, before allowing themselves to be overwhelmed by things like colors and sounds when using their smart phone.

  47. I found the article “Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone?” to be very interesting, especially because I consider myself someone who uses their phone far to often for how busy I am. The author of this article, Nellie Bowles, says that she and a small group of people have “gone gray”, meaning that they have turned their smart phone to grayscale instead of having color on their screens in an effort to make their phones less stimulating and hopefully encouraging them to use it less. Bowles reports that the grayscale has helped her check her phone less by “making [her] phone a little worse”.
    The article gets into the details of how the brain reacts to different things and what in particular grabs people’s attention. Through scans of the brains electrical activity while interacting with a phone, the biggest things are color and shape. These two things are what attracts people’s attention the most, so naturally this is what companies will do to get consumers attention and keep it as well as encourage them to make subconscious decisions in their factor that will increase their own profits. Facebook in particular uses this information as a tactic to keep people’s attention.
    When I initially read the title of the article, I thought it was going to be about making our phones slower and having access to fewer apps was going to be the tactic to getting people to use their phones less. I was very surprised that it was actually about something as simple as getting rid of color. While I like to stray from saying that I am “addicted” to my phone, it is probably true to some degree and color is not a factor that I thought played into that. However, by saying that making our phones worse would lead to being less addicted this made sense. The comparison to cereal boxes was very clear in showing that consumers are attracted to color, something that catches their eye and stimulates them.
    One thing that I found a little strange but not that unpredictable is that not only do technology companies know that color plays a role in making the phone addicting and use that to their advantage, but they also want to make it difficult for consumers to change their phones to grayscale through the settings.

  48. I think it’s a mistake to talk about addiction. “Mobile addiction” is not recognized as a disease. Using that term downplays a serious problem and turns something into a pathology that is not.
    An addiction is a serious and clearly defined health problem and using your cell phone a lot is a bad habit. An addiction is defined clinically by three factors: a pattern of problematic use, a withdrawal syndrome and a tolerance that drives the increasing doses and, in this case, the last two are not met.
    But it is true that there are patterns of problematic use, in which we neglect our tasks or leave aside our friends and family to remain immersed in the mobile screen. Here is the problem. Not in the mobile itself, but in what it is being used for.
    Then, we should reduce the use of the mobile phone, for example, by putting it in “airplane mode” as long as possible; not carry it at all times; always keep it silent; delete applications that we do not use or use very little; silence WhatsApp groups (and all notifications in general) and try calling instead of sending messages.

  49. I can admit that I have a habit of checking my phone more often than most people. I will even go as far as to say my phone is the biggest distraction in my life. I open my phone to scroll through social media, play games, or even check for replies to messages I just sent. Phones have become a dominant force in today’s world as a device that demands attention. But is it becoming too much? This article really made me think about how much I check my phone and how companies have specifically designed phones and their apps to call for my attention.

    Nowadays, the biggest trend is social media and updating people on your life. While I am not one for posting something every day, I do tend to scroll through Instagram, Snapchat, etc. to see what other people are up to. This has become such a daily occurrence for me that I did not realize how much social media has taken over my life. When a person opens their phone, they are immediately bombarded with color and designs that catch the eye and make them want to open and check apps even if they had no intention to in the first place.

    Bowles offers up a new solution to this phone addiction which is to take out the colors entirely. She recommends putting your phone on grayscale which makes your phone black and white. Although this idea seems good in theory and has sound reasoning, I was not sure if it would work for helping to cure phone addiction. So, I turned the setting on. I used grayscale for a full day of work and compared my habits using the new color filter to my normal habits. I know one day cannot be too different than normal being it is the one and only day, but I was curious.

    Do I agree with Bowles that this helps? The short answer is no, but not without justification. Bowles makes a fair point in the article about phones feeling more like a tool and less like a toy when in grayscale and this is true. I did feel that my phone had a slightly more professional feel when being used in grayscale. However, while I think it makes apps less eye-catching, by now, users know what apps are on their phones and they have a habit of checking these apps whether they are in color or not. The truth is that I did use my phone slightly less due to the odd nature of it being black and white, but I still played games and checked social media as I normally do. If anything, I used my phone less because my eyes hurt while using grayscale. The expectation of color and then lack of it really threw my eyes for a loop. Society is too internet/media-focused and I cannot imagine a lack of color slowing down that focus. Grayscale could be useful over a long period of time but feels too unnatural in the short term to be viable.

  50. I found this article interesting because I’ve never heard of the idea of turning your entire phone to grayscale. In this day and age, almost everyone has a smartphone. Smartphones can be useful tools to aid us in school, work, or just keeping in touch with family, but they are also a huge distraction. I can admit that I check my phone way too much. Sometimes my phone distracts me while I’m trying to work on assignments or completing tasks at work. We have to make the conscious effort to not check our phones for no reason. I think that we check our phones so often because we know that they are a fun distraction to turn to when we’re bored or trying to pass the time. The article touches base on how apps are designed to be visually stimulating to get the user’s attention. That made me think about how my favorite social media apps are all very vibrant and stimulating, such as Instagram or Snapchat. I often will go on my phone with the intention of doing something, like looking up something on the internet, and I’ll see a notification from Snapchat or Instagram and end up on one of those apps and forget what I originally went on my phone to do.
    The idea of reintroducing “controlled attention” sounds intriguing to me. Reading this article educated me on the way that colors trick your brain, as Conway stated, having lots of color and contrast puts your mind in a constant state of attention recruitment. I would consider trying switching my phone to grayscale just to see how much my screen time would decrease. My iPhone shows me my daily and weekly screen time break down and includes which apps I use the most. My most used apps seem to be the most colorful and vibrant apps, I wonder how that would change if my entire phone screen was dull and in grayscale. I agree with the article’s statement that making your phone less appealing can help reduce smartphone addiction.

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