Change Your Screen to Grayscale to Combat Phone Addiction Says Google Engineer

Phone addiction is a real thing, and it is wrecking havoc on our productivity and lifestyle. This is the case presented by Tristan Harris, former Design Ethicist at Google and CEO of the non-profit Time Well Spent, and it is a compelling one indeed. Harris has been comparing our phones to a slot machine, which keeps us hooked up because of one odd win despite the multitudes of losses.

A study found that an average person swipes and taps their phone display about 2,617 times a day, and most of the time there is nothing but the same old apps staring at us. But every now and then there are some notifications, some text message, a Snapchat picture, an email update. And this “satisfying” flurry interaction keeps us hooked up compulsively for another shot of dopamine.

All hope is not lost though as Harris suggests a unique way to combat the addiction. He asks everyone to enable grayscale on the phone screen, which makes the phone look less enticing and addictive. Of course, this might not completely cure the addiction, but surely picture based apps like Instagram and Snapchat would be a lot less appealing in black and white.

How To Turn Your Phone Black And White:

Although the process would vary from phone to phone, the option can generally be accessed via the “Accessibility” menu. Watch the video below to see how to turn Samsung Galaxy S6 gray:

For iOS 10, follow these steps,

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility >Display Accommodations >Color Filters. Switch Color Filters on and select Grayscale. To easily toggle between color and grayscale, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Color Filters.


Press the home button three times, and you’ll enable grayscale. Triple-click to go back to color.

You can read Harris’ other suggestions on beating the phone addiction here.

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