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Stop Using Dark Mode

Illustration for article titled Stop Using Dark Mode
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Bad IdeasBad IdeasThis week we're looking at mistakes, missteps, and misconceptions.

I’m going to preface this by saying I love dark mode. It started with my desktop Kindle app, and as soon as it was rolled out everywhere, I switched everything over to the soothing white-on-black aesthetic. My eyes rejoiced, and I too decried this mad blog calling dark mode a crutch for suckers.

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But oh, I have now seen the light.

It started with the latest Slack update and its new set of premade themes. I usually color-code my various Slack groups so I have an easy visual cue as to who I’m responding to at a given moment. The big problem was that Slack’s dark mode themes are way too similar to each other. My frustration peaked this week when I started mixing up channels in my work Slack, and when I started noticing I had to reread several DMs. Then out of the blue, I wondered if switching back to light mode for this one app would make my life easier.

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So I turned light mode on and my god, my eyes. They burned with the fires of a thousand suns suddenly beamed straight into my pupils. That said, as soon as they adjusted, words suddenly popped into clearer focus. Color schemes were much more distinct. In my dark cave of an apartment—which no number of lamps seems to ever brighten—the things I needed to see and read were magically easier to absorb and retain. That tracks, as studies find light mode is actually better for reading comprehension.

Then I flipped the switch on my entire laptop and again, momentarily blinded myself. But suddenly, my inbox was also easier to read. I no longer had weird formatting issues when copy-pasting text written in light mode to dark mode. I switched back to light mode on my phone. Surprisingly, I found I didn’t miss dark mode’s supposed aesthetic superiority as much as I thought I might. Gifs and photos in my texts popped. It felt like perhaps my eyes had gone flabby after months of dark mode. In general, simply switching to light mode felt like shaking my brain out of its stupor.

That said, I’m not stupid. Gizmodo’s dark mode stans have already roasted me for my betrayal. (Editor’s Note: the roasting will continue until the dark mode returns. - Cranz) I’m not saying throw dark mode into the trash forever. I’m merely suggesting that in these dark times, where it is impossibly hard to focus, switching back for productivity and work-related apps is a gamechanger.

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That said, one exception is Twitter. That hellhole of a website doesn’t need anyone to shine a light on its horribleness. No one needs better comprehension of the irony-poisoned drivel that gets posted there. Not today, not ever. That shit can stay in dark mode forever.

Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.

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DISCUSSION

srutherford
Sam Rutherford

I support Victoria for speaking her mind, but I cannot support this take.
Dark mode is where it’s at.