Going grey

Bruce Godin shared a video outlining how our phones are designed to be addictive. One of the ways is the use of colour.

Colours play an important role in our lives, in nature, and we respond to them in pre-programmed ways.

Red is often associated with warnings, danger, a need to take action, so it's unsurprising that notification bubbles are coloured this way.

In the video Tristan Harris, of The Center for Humane Technology, advises switching our displays to greyscale so that everything is more homogenised, less urgent. It's an interesting idea so since last night I'm experimenting with it to see if/how it affects my usage.

On iOS this is done under Settings > General > Accessibility > Dispaly Accommodations > Colour Filters. I've also set up triple-click on side button to easily toggle Colour Filters on and off.

For reading & writing it shouldn't have much of an impact but what about other behaviour?

The first reaction is a strange one - it's almost shock that everything looks so.... lifeless. But, I suppose that's the idea. Everything is reduced in intensity, nothing really stands out. I'm starting to get used to it but it feels strange.

Will it make me less likely to flick between apps now that the lure of their bright colours is neutralised? Though, saying that, I tend to really only use five on a regular basis and that's including Safari.

  1. retrophisch says: #
    @colinwalker I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong here. Inspired by what you wrote, I set my Color Filters to grayscale and the side button to three clicks, but all it ever does when thrice-clicked is go to the lock screen.
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  2. mmarfil says: #
    @retrophisch you have to actually select an option from the β€œTriple-click the side button for” list. Make sure one of the options in the table view have a checkmark next to it.
    →†’ Reply

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