I HAVE TROUBLE STAYING OFF my smartphone. There are times that my need to check emails or texts can feel almost compulsive — such as when I’m driving down the highway and absolutely do not need to be checking my phone. I’ve been trying, lately, to be more conscious about frequently I check it, and to cut back as much as possible. Till now, the biggest step I’ve taken was deleting Candy Crush.
Then, last week, I saw this video. James Hamblin, senior editor of The Atlantic, has come up with an easy mindhack: just set your phone’s color scheme to grayscale. The reason it works, Hamblin explains, is that “There’s a reason every notification on your phone is red. That’s a color that stimulates excitement in the brain.”
By simply switching your phone to grayscale, you remove some of this excitement, which makes you less likely to compulsively check. I tried it as soon as I saw the video on Thursday, and it’s working like a charm. My phone is ugly now. There’s no joy in picking it up anymore. I’ll have to find my happiness elsewhere in life.
If you have an iPhone, the process is simple. Go to Settings, then to General, then to Accessibility. Swipe the button that says, “Grayscale,” and voila! You can start deconditioning yourself from being a mindless slave to your smartphone.