Before you read this, I want you to take out your phone, go to settings, scroll down to “screen time” (assuming you have an iPhone), and spend a little bit of time looking through your screen time data.
Well? How much time are you spending on your phone each day? What about on different apps? Are you satisfied, dissatisfied or perhaps shocked by any of your findings?
I really didn’t think that I spent that much time on my phone, and in certain apps (ehhh hemmm Instagram), until the new IOS launched “screen time,” which gives you a detailed look at how much time you’re spending on your phone and how you’re spending it.
It was there where I discovered I was getting over 2,000, some days more than 4,000, notifications pushed to my phone, I picked my phone up between 60-150 times a day and spent way too much time on social networks (which are technically work, but let’s be honest, aimless scrolling isn’t part of the job). My average screen time per day clocked on my phone was between 3 and 5 hours consistently, and again, while some is work, I had to be honest with myself and admit that a lot of it wasn’t.
I wasn’t happy about my screen time data and was determined to make a change because staring down at a device for a large chunk of my day is certainly not how I want to live my life. This is precious time I could be using differently and so that’s exactly what I’m working on changing. Plus, I’m very aware of the way social media can impact my mood, and when it negatively impacts my day, it’s just not worth it.
There are certainly days when I need to use my phone more often for work, maps, phone calls, etc. but on average, over the last month I’ve been able to limit my screen time and cut it in half. Here’s how:
1. Turn off notifications
Between Instagram, text messages, my water reminder app, Facebook, actual phone calls, calendar reminders, etc. my phone was constantly dinging and lighting up (again, thousands of times a day). Every time I heard the ding or saw the bright light. I felt an urgency to check my phone, and every time I’d check, it would lead to additional phone time. Through the screen time app, I’ve turned off most notifications with the exception of texts, VIP emails (you can select the only email addresses you’d like to receive notifications for under VIP in email), phone, our alarm and clock. It’s made a DRASTIC impact on my day as I’m not a slave to dings.
2. Set limits
I learned that I was spending way too much time on Instagram so I’ve set a time limit for this app per day. You can do this right in the screen time app for any app and edit it at any point.
3. Set goals
There’s no competition better than one with yourself so I challenged myself to cut my screen time in half. I check in on how I’m doing in the middle and end of the day to stay on track, but again, there are exceptions to the rule as some days I need to use my phone more than others.
What about you? Have you become at all obsessed with your screen time data?