Recently doctors and researchers have raised the alarm over how much time we are spending staring at our phones. Prolonged mobile phone usage day after day has been linked to physical health issues like insomnia as well as mental health issues like depression.
Apple is hoping to empower users to monitor the time they spend on their iPhone with a new feature in iOS 12 called Screen Time. Screen Time is a new digital health feature that allows users to see how much time they are not only spending on their iPhones, but in individual apps themselves. The feature offers users a powerful dashboard that breaks down app usage by not only time, but the time of day you spend on the apps and even allows users to set time limits for apps–perfect to break your Facebook addiction.
Screen Time is built into iOS 12 itself–it’s not a separate app. To access the feature and customize it to your liking, look for it in the Setting app. Below, we’ll explain exactly how to use it–let’s get started.
Accessing Screen Time In iOS 12
As we’ve said, Screen Time is NOT an app. It’s an inseparable part of iOS 12. To access your Screen Time dashboard do the following:
- Open up the Settings app.
- Scroll down until you see the “Screen Time” button. It’s in the section that’s grouped with Notifications, Sounds, and Do Not Disturb.
- Tap on “Screen Time” to be taken to the Screen Time settings screen.
- Now under the Screen Time header, tap on the name of your iPhone to be taken to your Screen Time dashboard.
The Screen Time Dashboard
The Screen Time dashboard gives you a complete overview of how long you spend on your iPhone and how much time you spend using individual apps. At the top of the screen, you’ll see you can view your Screen Time metrics for the current day or for a seven-day period. Choose one, and then scroll down to explore the dashboard.
Under the Screen Time heading on the dashboard, you’ll see a color-coded bar chart breaking down your usage by the hour or day. After that is the “Most Used” header, where you’ll see a list of all the apps you use the most. Next to this header tap “Show Categories” to switch from seeing individual apps to the types of apps you most use.
Tap on any app or category under the Most Used heading to add a time limit to how much you can use the app each day. If this time limit is reached, you’ll be restricted from using the app further until the next day.
The next header down is “Pickups”. This shows you the number of times you picked up your device as well as the timeframe where you picked up the device the most. WARNING: this section makes it obvious just how addicted to your device you are. The final header is “Notifications”. Here you can see which apps are sending you the most notifications. Tap on any app to change its notifications settings on the next screen.
Disable Screen Time
It should be mentioned you CAN disable Screen Time entirely if you don’t want to see just how addicted you are to your iPhone. To do this:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap “Screen Time.”
- Scroll down until you see the label “Turn Off Screen Time” in red and tap it.
It’s important to note that disabling Screen Time will delete all data and time limits you have placed and usage metrics will no longer be reported until you enable Screen Time again.
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