iPhone Screen Time Test: What’s Your Number? (And What You Should Be Doing About It)

By Cindy Dampier
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Getting those weekly “Screen Time” reports, may be causing you some distress. The good news is that there are solutions to curb the time glued to your smartphone.

Chicago Tribune

Need a new game to keep people amused at the office? Try this: Ask your co-workers to show you their screen time.

Ever since Apple rolled out the iOS 12 operating system a few months ago, the new Screen Time app has been tracking time spent with iPhones, specifically, whenever the screen is on.

The app lurks quietly in the background, taking note of those scrolls through Instagram that soothe your train commute. Your late-night Twitter habit and the text fight you had with your sister? Add those to the damning total.

At week’s end, voila, the tiny computer does what computers do: It spits out data about your phone use for the week, and sends a message. “Your screen time was up 11 percent last week.” And then … the number: Six hours per day? Or 45 minutes? Virtue, or digital degeneracy?

You lean into the delicate glow of the screen, mouth gaping slightly. Did you see that right? An average of six hours per day? That’s more than a 40-hour workweek.

Want to find out your girlfriend’s number? Your boss’s number? You bet you do.

Though screen-time trackers have been around for a while (in the form of apps like Moment) and though Google also has a tracker, Digital Wellness, it’s Apple that has moved the needle, just by including Screen Time as part of its iOS 12, which rolled out this fall, and sending those little notifications.

While we were worrying about screen time for kids (and you can use these apps to track your child’s use too), guess what? We were all staring at the phone much more than we thought we were.

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