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The Black and White Phone as a Way to Focus

TLDR: Change the settings of your iPhone or Android to enable the grayscale mode. Your phone will become slightly less stimulating, allowing your brain to concentrate better.

Longer Version: Ha, it's turning into a mini-series of "experimenting with technology." But I've been collecting these experiments for a long time, and I'll describe only the successful ones for you. Not successful in the sense of only success stories, but those that are complete.

So, the second episode is about the black and white phone.

I know it sounds absurd, or someone might imagine a monochromatic phone from 1945. No, no.

I'm talking about simply switching your phone to grayscale mode. I suspect that people with color perception disorders may function better in terms of usability with this feature.

But for people with full color perception, this brings an unexpected consequence. The phone stops being a source of, how should I put it, artificial reality (?), a dopamine portal (he he). It starts to become quite a gray and dull source of data. Everything becomes rather homogeneous, and everything that had a designed color as a stimulant ceases to stimulate.

Of course, it doesn't work magic, and notifications still come as they used to, and the phone doesn't become less functional.

But it kind of messes with your head a bit...

There were some unexpected consequences for me from this experiment. 1. It turned out that many apps don't consider that someone might not see colors. For example, Spotify has a gray "unpressed play" button and a green "pressed" one. In shades of gray, they look identical. Maps display traffic conditions with colors - it's impossible to understand whether there's light traffic (yellow) or a definite jam (red/black) without colors. Interestingly, some apps changed during the experiment - Spotify added a dot under the pressed button :-) 2. Editing photos for Instagram is a nightmare. Sometimes I like to post something on Instagram. I also like to lightly enhance photos compared to the original. In the black and white world, I have no idea what I'm doing in terms of colors. So, the effect is unexpected and not necessarily pleasant. 3. Returning to the world of colors on the phone is so surprising. The quality of colors, their selection, which you don't consciously notice every day - only when you "switch back," it hits you hard. It makes you think that some things are designed to keep us attached, even on a visual level.

In conclusion, let me answer two questions that no one asked: Do I recommend this experiment? Absolutely. It's a nice way to destimulate and dull your phone. And it makes you think that maybe the ringmaster is tinkering with our minds a bit too much, and this simple way can untangle it. Do I still use a black and white phone? No. I treat such a switch like a dietary fast. It can be unhealthy and depressing if it lasts too long, and the functions that bring me pleasure are colorful, and sometimes, I like them that way.

But it's worth testing the experiment yourself and drawing your own conclusions.

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