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No grey areas in using smartphones, residents say

Using shades of black and white on screens will not change the way they use their device, they say

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Abrar Quazi, 40, India, IT professional

COV Abrar Quazi“I agree that if I turned my smartphone screen grey, I would be less inclined to use the phone often. I wouldn’t do that to cut down on my phone usage, even as an experiment. I don’t want to do that, my usage is under control. I agree that the colours and designs of the app icons are made bright, vibrant and attractive to keep users hooked. But, as I said, I don’t use the phone much — just around two hours a day. Half of that time would be spent on social media, and the rest on other apps and programmes.”

Zubair Haider, 38, Pakistan, marketing professional

COV Zubair Haider_FM“I would say that probably, yes, I would be less inclined to use my phone so much if it was on a grey display. But I don’t agree that the colours or designs have a big impact on phone use. Phones today are no longer only a means of communication — they are a means of media consumption. Even as an experiment, I wouldn’t change the settings of my phone to see if I would use it less. I also disagree that colours and app design are deliberately made to look a certain way so users stay hooked. It’s more the content, purpose and utility of the app that draws users. On average, I spend two to three hours a day on my phone — half of that time on social media and messaging, half on other apps and talk time.”

Layan Samir, 21, Spain

Layan“I think even if my smartphone screen were to be turned grey, I wouldn’t be less inclined to use my phone. That’s because I use my smartphone for several purposes including work and keeping in touch my family. I don’t even believe it would cut down my phone usage, and I can’t afford to try it out as an experiments due to work commitments and staying touch with family. I use my phone three hours a day on average. I tend to find bright coloured apps less appealing to use because I find the colours distracting and irritating. Many apps are designed so they don’t look boring. I think if an app looks irritating, it might reduce my usage of it.”

Amina Mukhibbnova, 20, Tajikistan

Amina“Making my phone screen grey wouldn’t really affect my usage as I use my phone mainly to check or reply to a message or answer a call. What decreases my usage is turning off my Wi-Fi/data, or deleting apps I tend to spend time on such as Instagram or Snapchat. I think turning a screen grey could work to an extent as the three apps I use most are in bright colours. However, it could be the fact that I just like using these apps. I think apps in general are designed to look a certain way because it’s a part of their marketing strategy. When it comes to how many hours I spend on my phone a day, I would say it depends on the day I am having and how busy I am. On average, if it’s a working day, I would use my phone for four hours. If I am staying home and procrastinating on social media, it could be more than that.”

Devi Grishma Narayan, 28, India, electrical engineer

Devi“I spend 30 minutes on the phone on average daily. I believe in colour psychology and have experienced the influence of different colours on my moods. So I assume this should work too. And yes, I am willing to experiment that to cut down my mobile usage. I agree that apps are designed to look attractive and are created to generate more business.”

Sudip Karki, 33, Nepal, businessman

Sudip Karki,“I spend about six hours on the phone daily. Colours don’t matter and I don’t think going grey would reduce the usage time. If I need my phone to work on something, the colour is not going to stop me. Of course, colours look attractive, but utility takes priority. I can’t ignore notifications. It’s a part of life now.”