When was the last time you checked your phone? The answer probably lies at this very moment. In fact, by default, you’re reading this on some kind of screen—probably because you’re spending more time on it than you like. Statistics show that on average we check our phones 58 times per day, and almost 58% of phone checks occur during working hours.
Smartphones are designed to grab our attention, and grab it. Whether it’s a message from a friend or a like on Instagram, in short, our phones, and the apps stored on them, are expertly designed to stimulate the release of happy hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. So no wonder we keep going back for more.
While many of us have tried various ways to reduce screen time—from digital detoxes to leaving our phones in another room—the grayscale trick is lesser known, but It’s easy, and it’s completely free. When personal development coach Ben Meer posted on Instagram the “give your time instead of taking it” phone model (sarcasm, I know), I immediately gave it a try.
“The most productive app on your phone is called Airplane Mode,” Meer wrote. “Now, second best? Grayscale.” If you’ve never heard of Grayscale before, you’re not alone, you’ve been watching it for the past 24 hours Having been immersed in grayscale (and talking to others who have been doing it for a long time), I can confidently say that it will quickly diminish the appeal of the phone.
How does it work? According to Meer, an “extremely effective hack” can help you save 50 minutes per day on average and is proven to reduce phone usage even more than app limits and shutdown features on our phones It works by dulling the constant burst of colorful visual stimuli from our devices and making “your phone less addictive and often unattractive,” Mir writes. “Fewer candy-colored apps means fewer dopamine snack temptations.”
When you activate grayscale mode, your screen changes from vibrant colors and red alerts to A sea of gray. It can be difficult to discern what an app is, and it’s less fun (and more challenging) to use — a favorable outcome in terms of addiction.