Most of us are spending too much time on our phones and we know it. In fact, we check our phones 52 times a day, on average, and when we do, we tend to get sucked into a time warp and before we know it, 20 minutes have gone by. Sure, we can switch them off or switch them to airplane mode, but sometimes that’s not an option, so we continue to be tied to our smartphones.
Tristan Harris understands the hold our phones have over us all too well. The former Design Ethicist at Google is now working to “reform the attention economy” with his nonprofit Time Well Spent. He’s all about helping us use our time wisely and he says there’s one thing we can do right now to help maintain a healthy detachment from our devices: change your phone to grayscale.
This means turning off the color display on your screen, so you only see things in black and white. Why would we want to do that? Harris suggests that the change could be enough to make the apps seem a little less appealing, so we won’t spend as much time endlessly scrolling and checking. Instagram without all the vivid colors? Not nearly as enticing. There are other benefits to making the switch too, including that grayscale can be easier on your eyes.
It’s easy to make the change in your phone’s settings and when you want to go back to color, you can easily do that as well. It might not be for everyone, but if it helps you avoid getting sucked mindlessly into your phone, it could be worth a try.