Erin sitting at a cafe table drinking tea and wearing a black long sleeve shirt and red plaid pants with pink high heels.

What is Screen Time on iPhone?

Who else has noticed the new feature on iPhone’s called Screen Time? It was intended to be used as a tool to provide you with information about how you are using your phone, what you are using it for and for how long by tracking you on your phone and sending you a weekly report. They have an added feature in this setting that also allows you to set timers on individual apps. That way, there’s a limit to how long you can use an app each day — or at least reminders.

Why I’m Talking About This

Screen Time is something I am thinking about a lot right now because it is shocking to me and makes me sick to think about (laughs nervously).

I was at my brother’s house the other day and he brought up screen time. He asked me to pull it up on my phone to see how many hours I use my phone a day. I opened it and could not believe what I saw.

How I Felt When I Saw My Results

I guess if I really think about it I knew that it would be bad, and a lot, which is probably why I always ignored the report notifications I got. Knowing it and seeing it are two completely different things though.

I was so embarrassed when I saw the results. Not because my brother saw or knew how often I use my phone but because I had to see. I immediately started justifying my phone use in my head – I use my phone as a second monitor. Social media is my job. Etc, etc. While those points are the truth and people spend just as many hours on their computer in a corporate job, my phone use is BAD and needs to be cut down.

What To do With The Information?

To be honest, this is something I am currently working on so I don’t fully have the answer but I have some thoughts.

The amount of hours I spend on my phone, I could be doing lots of other things so I think the first step is assessing how many hours you truly NEED to be on your phone. Do I really need to refresh my emails on my phone as often as I do or can I refresh it twice a day and try to just look at them mostly on my computer? While social media is my job and it is important to be active, do I need to be on just as much as I am? What does that look like? 

In panic after seeing my results, I panicked. I started googling how many hours you “should” be on your phone like a crazy person. Google really can make you go down a spiral with endless information. What I discovered is there is no “should” but there are averages and you can decide based off of those averages if that sounds feasible, not enough or too much for you.

Action Plan

My plan of action for this week:

  1. Look at what apps I use the most and for how long a day
  2. Assess how long I actually need to be on them
  3. Come up with other activities and tasks I can do to fill the time I spend on my phone
  4. Come up with an action plan of what feels comfortable to me
  5. Test it out and see how I feel
  6. Adjust accordingly

While I don’t have the answers, this seems like a doable action plan. I am all about creating lists and action plans to deal with anxiety btw. Let me know if this is a journey you’re interested in joining me on. And I will keep you posted with how it’s working for me!

Erin sitting at a restaurant table drinking a latte and wearing a red fuzzy robe.
Erin sitting at a cafe table drinking tea and wearing a black long sleeve shirt and red plaid pants with pink high heels.
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