Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone? - The New York Times
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.
What going grayscale does, Mr. Ramsoy said, is reintroduce choice.
Companies use colors to encourage subconscious decisions, Mr. Ramsoy said. (So that, for example, I may want to open email, but I’ll end up on Instagram, having seen its colorful button.) Making the phone gray eliminates that manipulation. Mr. Ramsoy said it reintroduces “controlled attention.”
“Color’s not a signal for detecting objects, it’s actually something much more fundamental: it’s for telling us what’s likely to be important,” Mr. Conway said. “If you have lots of color and contrast then you’re under a constant state of attentional recruitment. Your attentional system is constantly going, ‘Look look look over here.’ ”