Some of the worlds brightest minds are paid lots of money to find ways of getting us to stay on our phones longer. Our attention is commodified. It’s never been more important to find ways to reclaim our autonomy over our attention allocation.
If our attention is been depleted through screen use that's built from the ground up to be addictive, that’s time not attending to what really matters in life. So it's about finding ways to take the sting out of the addictiveness of tech.
I have my phone set to grayscale. No colour.
*On an iPhone you do this by going Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Colour Filters > Greyscale. Not sure how to do it on Android phones, sorry!
When I my eyes up from the screen, I re-engage and re-awaken to the vibrancy of real life. The world is so rich and fascinating and vibrant I immediately know where I would rather be. Here and Now.
Every time I turn back on the colour it’s so apparent how over saturated, bright, and contrasty the colours are. It’s a false hyper-reality. Too much time consuming through hyper-real colourful screens could make the real world seem dull and mute. It's a scary to think how wide spread screen use is, and just how much lost potential there is from our inherent susceptibility for shiny colourful things.
Having spent the majority of my time in greyscale for a few months, I can now feel how neuro-chemically attractive and addictive the colour phone is. It’s palpable.
There are times when I still want colour, like when looking at my photographs. So I’ve configured my iPhone with Shortcuts on the Home Screen, so I can switch between colour and greyscale with one click.
It's possible to do this with laptops and macs too. You can Google how to set Shortcuts up for yourself. But if you lack self control, having to search deep in the settings to switch to colour might not be a bad thing.
Ultimately this is about making sure that technology works for us, rather than us inadvertently working for big tech by giving it all of our attention for free.