Shining a light on "Dark Mode"

Tech titans from Apple and Google to Instagram and Twitter are touting “dark mode” as the latest digital must-have.

But what exactly IS dark mode - and is it worth ticking the settings box to get it? 

Dark mode is simply a visual option that reverses the colours of text and background on a screen, cutting down the glare when you use an operating system, platform or app. Instead of black text on a white background, dark mode uses shades of grey. 

This reduces the visual contrast on our screens and, according to the hype, will not only improve the battery life of your device, but reduce eye-strain, sleep difficulties and headaches.

Here’s how Apple describes in its latest release:

"Dark Mode is a dramatic new look that helps you focus on your work. The subtle colors and fine points of your content take center screen as toolbars and menus recede into the background. Switch it on in the General pane in System Preferences to create a beautiful, distraction-free working environment that’s easy on the eyes—in every way."

So should I switch?

Maybe - but first consider that critics have cast serious doubt on these claims.

According to specialist Andrew Couts, writing in Gizmodo, dark mode is “the placebo of tech.” Expert opinion increasingly agrees. 

“Except in extraordinary situations, dark mode is not easy on the eyes, in any way,” insists tech journalist Adam Engst - and the claims for it simply “fly in the face of the science of human visual perception.”

The science shows conclusively that the human brain and eye prefer dark-on-light contrast - which is associated with better focusing, comprehension and reading speed. 

Research also shows that for people with astigmatism - aka short-sightedness - dark mode can be especially counter-productive and actually aggravate the condition.


What about battery life?

Depending on your device, it may be true that dark mode will extend battery life for up to an hour a day. But for many devices - specifically non-OLED ones - it will not affect battery life at all.

What about sleep?

Most of us are now aware that the blue light emitted from screens can wreak havoc on healthy sleep patterns. The good news is that dark mode does reduce blue light and may be a good choice for evening viewing or scrolling.

The good news is that dark mode does reduce blue light and may be a good choice for evening viewing or scrolling.

Experts advise that dark mode can certainly reduce visual fatigue, especially at night, when a phone or laptop screen that seemed perfectly fine during the day may feel uncomfortably bright.

Keep on top of all the latest trends in tech that can affect your family - and create a home where children thrive - with Family Zone.

Tell me how!

Topics: Parental Controls, Screen time, Mobile Apps, sleep, distraction, eyesight, blue light

    Try Family Zone for FREE

    Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.

    Free Trial
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Follow us on social media
    Popular posts
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | teens on social media
    Can we talk? 100 questions your teen might actually answer
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | roblox | sleep
    Family Zone: Now blocking Roblox with a single click
    Cyber Bullying | Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | online predators | tiktok | paedophile | child predator | Likee
    LIKEE: What parents need to know about this risky TikTok wannabe
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | Fortnite | discord
    Discord: What parents need to know
    Parental Controls | online gaming | Social Media | primary school | krunker
    Krunker has landed - and it's got our kids in the crosshairs

    Recent posts

    When is it okay to turn a kid into a brand?

    Social media careers are a top aspiration for Gen Z kids. And some - urged on by a new generation of ‘stage’ parents - are pursuing their ...

    Our kids are more connected - yet lonelier - than ever before

    Young people's loneliness has increased dramatically since 2012, according to new research. So has smartphone use. And that’s no ...

    Doomscrolling: What it is, why we do it, how to stop

    Compulsively reading negative news online wastes time and makes us feel awful. So why do we keep doing it - and how can we stop?

    How TikTok's funhouse mirror is distorting our kids' view of the world

    TikTok's algorithm pushes vulnerable kids toward risky content and risky behaviours, from eating disorders to self-harm.