We go everywhere together, and we have a great time. We talk about current events and watch movies together. We do a leisurely scroll through Twitter and Instagram together daily. We have great communication skills. We sleep next to each other every night and check in with each other each morning. We are always there for each other and have been.
Above is not the description of a seemingly perfect relationship. It is actually describing how my phone and I function and seemingly always have.
I did not think I was addicted to technology. I thought I had a rather healthy relationship with my phone and then there was Screen Time. After finally getting around to updating my phone, I was simply curious about an app used to monitor your app use. I thought it was interesting to see how much time I actually spend with my phone in my hands. It monitors your app usage and how many times you pick up your phone in an hour. It evens give you an hour to hour breakdown and shows how the trends in your usage have shifted over the week.
Then, I saw my Screen Time data and my curiosity was replaced with minor shock. To give you an estimate, I spend four hours on my phone. I also pick up my phone 84 times a day. Yes, I am abroad, and I Google basically every single menu item I come across and sometimes even have to Google how to get back to my hostel, but that does not take four hours. Four hours is an obscene time to be spent on my phone.
So, I decided to limit the time I spend on the apps (you can also do that with this app). I set custom times for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It gives you a 5minute warning and then a screen with an hourglass appears telling you time has expired.
I even set it to have my phone go into "Downtime" between certain hours and I also throw on "Do Not Disturb" during that block just for good measure. I can still have access to all of my apps, but it makes you select "Ignore Limit" and then it will load.
I am definitely more cognizant of how many times I pick up my phone, but honestly, I have not seen a drastic improvement in my phone habits. I do read before bed now, which never happens. I also make myself less available once it hits a certain hour. Baby steps, right?