For better or worse, Twitter basically stands alone as the most recognizable mainstream social media platform that currently allows (“allows”) adult content. Don’t believe me? Its Alexa ranking is currently eighth in the US and eleventh in the world.
This fact in conjunction with the do you/don’t you struggle that creeps into every conversation I have about social media makes me pause every time there’s Twitter news out there. Do we or don’t we mention it? The answer is, of course, yes. Yes, we do.
As such, per CEO Jack Dorsey’s promises back in January, Twitter recently debuted an even darker version of the app’s existing dark mode. Twitter’s pre-existing dark theme was a blue-ish shade, rather than a true black. Now, there’s a new setting that bumps the existing dark mode up (down?) to a darker shade. The new darker dark is called “Lights Out.”
To use “Lights Out:”
Visit Twitter’s “Settings and Privacy” section.
Click on “Display and Sound.”
Toggle on the “Dark Mode,” which enables the current blue-ish dark theme, referred to as “Dim.”
A second option beneath “Dim” — “Lights Out” — is now also offered. If checked, dark mode becomes black instead.
It was dark. You asked for darker! Swipe right to check out our new dark mode. Rolling out today. pic.twitter.com/6MEACKRK9K
— Twitter (@Twitter) March 28, 2019
According to TechCruch, introducing a third brightness/darkness option, rather than just darkening the existing “Dim” theme and sticking with two, is an interesting choice.
Many apps offer dark themes — YouTube, Google, Medium, Reddit, Google Maps, Waze and WhatsApp (well, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a dark mode for Android, so it’s coming soon, but you get my point). The apps offering a dark mode, however, don’t generally offer a dark and a darker option. They just offer a bright theme and a second darker one. But… why?
It might be because, as we know, size matters.
“A tweak to the dark mode may seem like a minor adjustment to be concerned with, but dark modes today have grown in popularity as larger phone screens become the norm,” TechCruch explained.
Dark modes can help conserve battery life on OLED (organic light-emitting diode) devices. On apps used as often as Twitter, this is a big deal. There are also health-related reasons for using dark modes. For instance, dimmer lighting is easier on the eyes, especially when you spend a lot of time looking at screens. Dark modes may also help lessen device addiction and improve sleep.
So, is this new feature helpful?
Honestly, anything that a device or an app can do that will possibly burn my eyes less sounds great. I imagine your eyes experience similar, if not greater, torture. As such, this might be a setting worth playing around with. I wonder though: Will “easier on the eyes” make me want to look at Twitter more? Or, will easier on the eyes coupled with lighting that’s theoretically less addictive get me off social media altogether?
Only time will tell.
Erika Chan is a sex positive people watcher (and writer). Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Pexels.com.