CNN reports a new scale survey designed by Caglar Yildirim, an assistant professor of human computer interaction who created a scale for use in his research at State University of New York at Oswego that is designed to assess the severity of a person having “nomophobia”. This term is in relation to a person’s anxiety regarding not being able to use their phone, access certain information, or use it to communicate with friends and family. Smartphone addiction is a widespread concern, as it has led to traffic accidents, pedestrian incidents, minor injuries from being distracted, and more. Several companies are working to tap into this societal problem, and here’s one technique that’s been created:

Grayscale use – cutting out colors and opting for a range of shades from white to black, was popularized by technology expert Tristan Harris, who felt that turning his phone’s dynamic to grayscale would reduce the appeal of the phone’s bright and capturing design. The NY Times explained the finding that color and shape are what captures people’s attention, and companies use this to their advantage, especially with phone designs, apps, and other products. Thomas Z. Ramsoy, chief executive of Neurons, a company in Copenhagen that studies brain activity and technology, stated the companies use colors to encourage subconscious decisions, but grayscale reintroduces choice.

Nellie Bowles, a writer for the NY Times, tested this out and here is what they said:

“After going to grayscale, I’m not a different person all of a sudden, but I feel more in control of my phone, which now looks like a tool rather than a toy. If I unlock it to write an email, I’m a little less likely to forget the goal and tap on Instagram. If I’m waiting in line for coffee, this gray slab is not as delightful a distraction as it once was. The switch made me realize, in a tangible way, that I still have a choice here.”

We do have a choice. Smartphone addiction causes us to miss out on time with our friends and family in a meaningful way. It disrupts the process of developing relationships, and can make our loved ones feel unheard. It places us in further danger and has many health implications. Take the time to rethink the way you use your phone – it could change your life for the better.

New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment programs. If you or your loved one is ready to begin treatment, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation.

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