The iPhone Hack That Will Make You More Likely To Cut Back On Your Screen Time

There are many ways people attempt to break their screen time habit. Our phones even come with timers that we can set to help us remember to put our devices down every once in a while. While these tools can be helpful, they're also super easy to disable, which means they're not always the most effective. Another common piece of advice, of course, is avoiding your phone while eating meals or when in bed, or leaving it in another room. However, if you're searching for that hit of dopamine, you'll likely break these self-set rules time and time again. So, what can you do to detach from your device now and then?


The best way to cut down on screen time, especially if using your social media apps is actually to make your phone grayscale. Personal development coach Ben Meer tells Vogue that using the grayscale mode on your iPhone to take away the lure of pretty photos and eye-catching videos that keep you sucked into your phone. Not convinced? Here's how it works.

How grayscale works and how to get it on your iPhone

Enabling grayscale mode to cut down on screen time sounds a bit too good to be true. Could it really be that simple? Yes, but the science is a bit more complicated. Essentially, some studies have found that looking at bright colors stimulates the release of dopamine, aka the 'feel good' chemical in our brains. Because of this, some people, including TikToker Drew Hallgrimson, posit that by removing the color on your phone, you're taking away the visual that keeps us going back to Instagram for the sixth time. On top of that, according to Meer, grayscale mode also makes your phone less fun to use. Having all the apps the same drab, dull shade makes it challenging to decipher which app is which, and this extra step can make you less interested in returning to your phone.


If you want to try grayscale to cut down on screen time, simply go to your phone settings and hit "accessibility." Once there, click on "display and text size" and "color filters on" and check the option to turn on grayscale. You can even program your phone to go gray at a set time, so if you find yourself mindlessly scrolling at bedtime, set your phone to grayscale each night to help you unplug and get a better night's sleep.

Why using grayscale is so important

Our phones have become part of our daily lives,–so much so that many of us actually feel uneasy when we don't have our phones nearby. In the past decade, phone usage has skyrocketed and with that, things like phone addiction and phantom vibrations have become more prevalent. There are many reasons people become addicted to their phones, and the results of too much screen time can be detrimental to our health. 


Some of us begin to panic if we don't have a way to communicate with others immediately, but for the majority of us, it's all about that dopamine hit. With social media and texting, our phones provide us with one of our biggest sources of socializing. Creating bonds and talking with loved ones (or even just other people) can give us a dopamine hit similar to what we get when we have a good workout or eat a good meal. That's why grayscaling may be the solution that works best: It eases us away from the things that make our phone so attractive, without just slamming the thing down on the table.