Wednesday 11 December 2019

Switch phone to black and white to cure your addiction

"NHK news alert. North Korea appears to have launched a missile," NHK said in a notification sent through its app to mobile phone users at 6.55pm Tokyo time. (stock photo)

Margi Murphy

For parents who fear their children are spending too much time on their mobile phones, there could be a simple answer: turn the screen to black and white.

The "greyscale" feature makes the colour disappear from an iPhone screen and could prevent users from incessantly reaching for their devices, psychologists claim. Looking at a screen without colourful apps and notifications may block emotional attachments - a key element of breaking addiction.

"It is certainly a short-term way to curb phone use," said Dr Martin Sinclair, psychologist and author of 'Mindfulness for Busy People'. "When we go on smartphone apps they use all sorts of attention-grabbing colours. Limiting the colour might be effective for some," he said .

Smartphone addiction is becoming a worrying trend among adults and children.

"You can tell if you are suffering from a smartphone addiction if you stop everything you are doing to pick up your phone after sensing a vibration or hearing a 'ping'," said Dr Emma Russell, a psychology lecturer at Kingston University.

Irish Independent

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