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Light mode or dark mode: Which do you prefer and why? πŸ€”

technoglot profile image Amelia Vieira Rosado ・Updated on ・1 min read

Photo by Joan Gamell on Unsplash

Howdy! πŸ‘‹πŸ» May I interrupt your lurking activities for a bit?

I was just reading an article on here of someone who had recently launched his portfolio website. Since the portfolio only has a dark mode, readers suggested him to add a light mode as well.

So I thought I'd ask y'all: light mode or dark mode? Which do you prefer and why?

πŸ‘‡πŸ» Drop it in the comments below!




Still here? Catch me on Twitter or find me elsewhere! If you like my blogs and are feeling generous, kindly consider to πŸ‘‡πŸ»




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Discussion (91)

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scorreaui profile image
Santiago Correa

Why not give the user the option to change to light or dark mode. It would actually give the end user a better experience.

I actually did this on my own portfolio, check it out.

wegrix.com/

Light version: dev-to-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/up...

Dark version: dev-to-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/up...

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abrahambrookes profile image
Abraham Brookes

I love the toggle! Having the landscape inside the slider is a really nice touch.

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scorreaui profile image
Santiago Correa

Thanks Abraham! I try my best.

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akatsukilevi profile image
Akatsuki Levi

Just saw, and amazing! I loved it!
One tip i give is to check the user's theme preference to set the initial theme when they first enter the website!
Something as window.matchMedia('(prefers-color-scheme: dark)').matches

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scorreaui profile image
Santiago Correa

Thanks so much. I just realized I didn't save the users preference on reload! XD

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akatsukilevi profile image
Akatsuki Levi

You're welcome! Hope it helped!

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Why not give the user the option to change to light or dark mode. It would actually give the end user a better experience.

I get that and I agree with you. But what do YOU prefer; light or dark mode? And why.

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scorreaui profile image
Santiago Correa

Dark mode all the way! I find that light mode strains your eyes more, can give you more of a headache and so on.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

I'm certainly a victim of light mode! 😒

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author • Edited

I'll go first: I hate light mode with a passion! I think it's for masochists 🀣 (whatever floats your boat honey πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ).

In all seriousness: I prefer dark mode. Why? It is easier on my eyes. Lately I have been experiencing screen fatigue (yah, das a thang) and staring at anything white on my screen for too long, makes me sick. So, besides using dark mode wherever possible, I like to add an aggressive blue light filter too! 😁

P.S.: I wear glasses/ contact lenses. Can't afford to lose more of my eye sight than I already did, now can I? πŸ€“ Dark mode to the rescue!

P.S. 2.0: Life's better in dark mode... 😏 Who's with me?

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devlorenzo profile image
DevLorenzo

Dark mode it's for those who work at night πŸ™ƒ.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

LOL, I use dark mode the whole day πŸ˜‚

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decentralizuj profile image
decentralizuj

I use light on desktop and dark on mobile. Sometimes dark on desktop, depends. But for me, it doesn't matter day/night, it's about device and monitor.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Interesting approach! πŸ‘€πŸ€” Thanks for adding to the conversation πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

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devlorenzo profile image
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akatsukilevi profile image
Akatsuki Levi

As a Linux user and a software developer, Dark Mode for life
There's no Front-End software that i develop without support for Dark Mode

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jmdejager profile image
🐀πŸ₯‡ Jasper de Jager

Just changed my dev.to to dark mode te try. Don't hate it but going to switch back to light mode. (All sorts of starwars references popping up but not going there πŸ˜…)

P.S. The image of your post works better in light mode πŸ˜…

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

P.S. The image of your post works better in light mode πŸ˜…

Ah, I bet it does πŸ˜… just put it there to give the post a little color, hehe

(All sorts of starwars references popping up but not going there πŸ˜…)

And here I was looking forward to them! 😒

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

-cries in markdown- 😒

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Usaid

I prefer dark mode cause I mostly work at night and trust me staring at a bright screen at 3am feels like needles are piercing your eyes. 😱

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author • Edited

Hahahaha, I can imagine! Please protect your eyeballs at all cost πŸ‘€πŸ€£

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usaidpeerzada profile image
Usaid

yeah, blue light filters help a lot. BTW which theme are you currently using ? I like to try new themes all the time.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author • Edited

If you mean VS code theme, I'm using Tokyo Night. I like to switch between that and Material Theme, though I think it's about time I hit the marketplace again (or build my own)! πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸŽ¨ What about you? Which themes do you like using?

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usaidpeerzada profile image
Usaid

Tokyo night is good, I like the storm version of it. I've been using noctis for a while now and I like the color combinations that it has.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Will definitely check them out! πŸ’ͺ🏻

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🐀πŸ₯‡ Jasper de Jager

It depends, for reading I prefer light mode, for development dark mode. No idea why actually πŸ˜…
Maybe it has something to do with the amount of focus needed?

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Heeeey Jasper! Thanks for joining in! Hmm, reading in light mode is fine, not gonna lie. I just can't do it for too long.

Maybe it has something to do with the amount of focus needed?

Worthy of more research indeed! πŸ€”

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jmdejager profile image
🐀πŸ₯‡ Jasper de Jager

My dev.to is in light mode (minimal) by the way but I love that the codeblocks are dark. Perfect for me 😊

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

That does sound enjoyable, the dark codeblocks combined with the light mode. I, on the other hand have been on the dark side of dev.to from the start 😈

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jmdejager profile image
🐀πŸ₯‡ Jasper de Jager

So the answer for the portfolio website should be: Yes add light mode! There are people that enjoy it πŸ™‚ maybe the next question will be to add pink mode, dev.to has it πŸ˜…

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Yes add light mode! There are people that enjoy it

It appears to be so, yep

pink mode

Whaaaa? That's a thing?? ☠

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jmdejager profile image
🐀πŸ₯‡ Jasper de Jager

Well technically it's a pink theme and will count as light mode I guess. But I agree with you... ☠

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akatsukilevi profile image
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Nico Zerpa (he/him)

I'm a light mode guy, but I do code in dark mode. However, that's for a very silly reason: all the light colour schemes that I've found are dull and boring! 😁 The dark themes are generally more colourful.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Silly reason or not, you're partially on the dark side πŸ˜ˆπŸ˜…

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5ar profile image
Petar KovačeviΔ‡

Depends a lot on the design, time of day, and use cases, in general:

  • writing code: dark or soft dark
  • reading code (short snippets): don't care, prefer light or soft dark
  • reading code (entire files and code reviews): light
  • writing text: depends on room light
  • reading text: mostly light, exceptions made for mobile or really late at night
  • Q&A sites (Quora, Stack Overflow): mostly light
  • social media: depends on the app - e.g. Facebook light, Twitter and Reddit dark
  • chat applications: dark, with the exception of Slack
  • most other applications: soft dark

By soft dark I mean the (somewhat dark) grey pallets, as opposed to the almost black backgrounds that a lot of text editors feature

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5ar profile image
Petar KovačeviΔ‡

As for a portfolio - I don't really care as long as it fits the design. A bad dark mode is worse than no dark mode, same thing goes for light.

If you're going for just one mode, I'd advise against going "hard dark" unless you have a good reason and a good contrast. Dark modes can really hurt readability for some people if executed improperly, while the folks that have an issue with anything light probably have a browser extension installed for those scenarios.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Dark modes can really hurt readability for some people if executed improperly

Very good point. Dark mode, if done poorly, can make a website poorly accessible. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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Riri

Dark mode, for both coding and reading. Maybe it's just me but looking at a white screen hurts my eyes more than looking at a darker / dimmer color. Found this out the hard way after my eyes kept watering at work despite it feeling a bit dry, thought I was just dehydrated but it turns out it was the screen.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Oh, dehydration can be a culprit for sure! And...did I mention air conditioners?! Those dry out eyes like crazy πŸ™…πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Thanks for sharing your thoughts, by the way 😁

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Riri

I can rule out air conditioners 😁 We don't have those where I'm from hehe.

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Ben Sinclair • Edited

I prefer people to write their software to respect the user's preferences, and I do not like the trend of calling themes "light/day/dark/night-mode", and don't understand why it's become A Thing.

I think for a website someone's likely to visit once or twice at the most, it doesn't really matter - make it how you like it or how you think will impress people. I can't imagine that many people will want to toggle the modes (c.f. visiting frequency) however if it's there to showcase your technological prowess it can't hurt.

But why not go the whole hog and present more than two themes?

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

I do not like the trend of calling themes "light/day/dark/night-mode",

How come you dislike this? I think it's just a way to differentiate the themes from each other πŸ€” What do you think?

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I think that we've had themes for decades, and things like f.lux for many years but now people are reducing the choice and touting it like its some great new invention. It's literally less than we used to have.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

I don't happen to get that impression, but I do get where you are coming from. Thanks for you input, Ben! πŸ‘πŸ»

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Darren Fuller

My default is dark mode as it saves my eyes when staring at the screen all day. But... When I'm presenting code in video calls or doing talks then it can sometimes be really hard to see (Darcula in IntelliJ, I'm looking at you), so I switch back to light mode for those.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Solid point! Dark mode is not optimized for video calls, hehe. Too bad though πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ. Thanks for joining the conversation, Darren! 😊

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Abraham Brookes

I am an absolute sucker for dark mode, but I use light mode everywhere - because I use f.lux on "Darkroom mode" which inverts your screen and applies a deep red overlay: pbs.twimg.com/media/BxiAbZ4IIAA6mO...

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Oh wow!! That sure looks murderous! 🀣 But, in all seriousness, I should definitely go back to using flux.... Might just spare me that screen fatigue. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Abraham! 😁

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Keith Price

Users should have a choice but I do not understand how anybody can deal with looking at bright, light web pages and apps without destroying their eyes. Especially when programming, how any developer can code with a light theme background is beyond me.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

how any developer can code with a light theme background is beyond me

I know right! For me that's pure torture πŸ˜‚, but hey, we all have our quirks, no?

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Charanjit Chana

I actually prefer light mode, but most IDEs seem to come with a dark theme by default and I’m too lazy to change it πŸ˜†

On my phone I’ll happily let the OS auto switcH between the two but I’m not a big fan of this in the desktop but not sure why.

As for toggles which I’ve seen in the comments. They’re interesting but I’m not a fan. The OS can tell you the users preference so why not listen to it and do what it asks?!

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

I’m too lazy to change it πŸ˜†

hahaha come on now πŸ˜‚

The OS can tell you the users preference so why not listen to it and do what it asks?!

Definitely an option! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

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Matthew Marquise

Depends on what it is and what other sites/apps I'm using at the same time. I'll use light mode if there's a few sites that don't offer dark mode because I can't stand the instant brightness chnage between tabs or apps.

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pris stratton

Personally I prefer the look of dark mode. For developers I think both should be considered and you need to make sure dark mode is legible IMO. Sometimes I see contrasts that make my eyes hurt! Giving people the choice just feels more accessible to me.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Giving people the choice just feels more accessible to me.

I agree πŸ’― Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one!

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Haris Secic

I prefer tools that sync with the OS than having OS switch based upon daylight but also having manual options due to bad weather or so. Having said that some sites sync with the browser. Browsers can sync with OS and OS usually have tools to track daylight. Mainly primitive one tracking only hours of the day not weather which can affect it more but at least something. I wish more tools and websites start recognising that autolight is not jus for smartphones and it really helps eyes (at least for some ppl)

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Nice take on this topic! πŸ€” Thanks for your additions, Harris!

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SIMBIOSIS

Amelia, to be truly honest with you and me as well, I would like to confess that I prefer dark mode but... There's always a but.
I rarely use it when I have been given the opportunity to change it to the light one. Why? You may be asking at the light of my previous affirmation on my dark theme preference.
Simple. It's really hard to me to find a dark theme with which I feel confortable and reach the main goal of the dark side anyway, to relieve the strain of my eyes.
At the moment I'm only using it on an Android app, QuickEdit, which I often use to code or review my code on the phone.

! [QuickEdit displaying a js file] dev-to-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/up...

The problem is that when building a dark mode (let's say, when you go to the dark side) the range of colors and contrast you are able to use is widely restricted if you compare it to the light mode. Innovative colors and innovative contrasts here may leave you with a non accessible UI even to people who need no accessibility at all. At least it's true on my personal experience.
Let's say that a nice accessible and eye relieving dark theme needs no innovation but foolow the strict rules of contrast and the few colors that can be used to build it

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Agreed, some dark themes have bad contrast. That bothers me a lot.

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Shaquil Maria

Dark mode, unless the site or app is not created with dark mode in mind (some apps just invert the colors, and it looks awful), then I just suffer in light mode.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

some apps just invert the colors, and it looks awful), then I just suffer in light mode

-cries in markdown- 😒 But, seriously, that's just sad 🀣

Light-dark toggle should be a STANDARD. I mean, some of us just love the dark side! 😈

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Shaquil Maria

It should be indeed, and not to just invert the colors, but to have an actual dark theme.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Agree, attention to detail is key! ✨

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Elian Van Cutsem

I tend to give users the option... You can ofcourse always check what they prefer by using prefers-color-scheme (developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/W...).

I implemented this on my own portfolio: elian.codes

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Timo Sarkar

Dark ❀️❀️❀️

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codefinity profile image
Manav Misra

πŸ’― Dark mode. I don't know how shining a white light in my πŸ‘€ at a close proximity would be a good thing!
Light mode is for paper πŸ“ƒ.
It's fine to give choice, but I like dark.

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michelledev

dark mode easier on the eyes ;)

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erica (she/her)

Dark mode all the way! Having the option is good in case someone wants light mode, but I stick to dark mode as much as possible. It's much easier on the eyes.

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Juan F Gonzalez

Dark mode all the way. It's easier on my eyes. Everyone has it's take but some of us spend more time on the pc when there's low light than when there's full daylight.

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Ritik kumar

I prefer light mode for reading and dark mode for coding...

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

I like that approach! πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

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Ritik kumar

πŸ˜ƒ

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Pranshul Aggarwal

Dark mode everything, a white screen always feels like a flashlight burning up my eye idk why. When I download an app or visit a website first thing I look up is dark mode.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Same here! I get so annoyed when there's no dark mode 😠

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Mario

Light Mode for everything.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

How come? πŸ€”

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Rushan S J

Well, dark mode is really good for me as light mode causes strain to the eye. Light mode is pretty good when you're in a place where it's quite bright.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Agreed! Proper lighting goes a long way πŸ‘€

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Huzaifa Rasheed

Light mode for everything not used frequently ✌️

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

That's a great rule of thumb right there! πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

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Andrew Baisden

Dark mode, and dark themes for me at the moment. Easier on the eyes.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado Author

Easier on the eyes.

Most certainly! πŸ‘€

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Siddharth • Edited

The only reason I use dark mode is that I started with it and now if I switch to light my eyes shall burn πŸ”₯

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3301-byte

I perfer your eyes (β˜…β€Ώβ˜…)