Nellie Bowles, writing for The New York Times last month:
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
On the iPhone, you can manage this in the Display Accommodations section with General → Accessibility in Settings. The easiest way to use it is to enable “Color Filters” as the Triple-Click accessibility shortcut, all the way down at the very bottom of the Accessibility section. Then you can just triple-click the side button to toggle it.
I tried this while hanging out with some friends over Super Bowl weekend. They liked it more than I did. I can definitely see how this reduces the urge to turn to your phone the moment you’re bored, but to me it’s so unpalatable that I find it hard to use the phone. Your mileage may vary.
★ Monday, 26 February 2018