About a week ago, I got Apple's new iOS 12 update. Now, within your iPhone's settings, you can see how much time you spend on your phone via the Screen Time feature.
This feature lets you see how much time you spend on your phone each day, how long you are within each app, as well as how many times you click your home button.
So, like, I know I use my phone a lot. But I didn't realize that I spend around 2 hours a day on my phone. Turns out that my little 10-minute phone binges add up.
Not only that, but I can also see which apps I am spending the most time on (Instagram and Snapchat, for me). Do I really need to spend 45 minutes of my life looking at pictures of people? No. I could be using that time to do work or exercise or interact with real humans.
Along with showing us how much time we spend on our phones, this feature also has a Downtime feature. This feature allows users to set a time period in which you can't access your apps. You can customize it to only block certain apps in case you absolutely need something (Your text messages and phone are always available despite the block). This is particularly helpful for me during times when I need to set down and actually do work. While it's relatively easy to override the block, just the simple warning is enough to deter me and remind me of what I need to be doing.
If losing complete access to your phone isn't your jam, they also have app limits, where you can put a time limit on specific apps. This is a cool feature because you can set an arbitrary limit at first just to see how quickly you exceed that limit. And let me tell you, you'll exceed the limit faster than you think.
You can also see what times are peak usage times. For instance, you can see how much you use your phone each hour, whether you browse your phone in the morning or before you go to bed... or maybe you look over Instagram on your walk to class. This feature will let you know.
Most of all, I like this new feature because it's allowing me to train myself to use my phone less. I am shocked by the amount of time I am spending on my phone. Having the statistics plotted each week, I have a competition with myself to see if I can be on my phone less than yesterday or the week before.
So far, I've cut down my pickups per day from around 120 to 80, and my screen time from 2 hours to 1 hour and 45 minutes. It's not a lot, but I feel like I'm accomplishing something. I don't know what my exact end goal is, but I appreciate Apple for allowing its users to be aware of how much time they spend on their phone and including ways to minimize the screen time.