The Screen Time app. It’s ruining my life.

OK, this blog post may be a bit dramatic even for me. But seriously, this darn screen time app…

I mentioned in my last post that one of my November goals has been to limit my screen time to under 4 hours per day. Easy, right?

Evidently not for me!

I had no idea I spent over 4 hours per day on my phone. That seems crazy! But when I looked at what apps I was spending a lot of time on, it makes sense. Little amounts of time over the course of a day really add up! Plus I realize I pick my phone up to check email or other notifications way too  often.

How the screen time app has changed the way I use my phone

I also realized that on days I pick Clara up from preschool I log about an hour on Google Maps. Just for preschool pick-up! So of course I stopped using Google Maps to go everywhere I should know how to get to… and subsequently got lost a bunch of times. This is not surprising (well, it was to me, but shouldn’t have been) because I have a horrible sense of direction. So now I do things the old-fashioned way: I look up directions before I go and try to memorize the route. And when I get lost – which is inevitable – I turn on the Maps to get me back on track.

All for the sake of limiting my screen time!

I wish I could just exclude Google Maps from being counted at all, but I am considering this part of the challenge in getting myself away from my phone for everyday tasks.

The dependency must end! (Or does it? Should I just be embracing modern technology and its ability to get me from point A to point B?)

One of the positive changes I’ve made has been to set limits on how much I’m on Facebook and Instagram, and this little setting has made a huge difference in my aimless scrolling. I really do think everyone should set limits on apps that they find themselves clicking on for no apparent reason. When it’s 10pm and my little timer tells me that I only have 5 min of Instagram left for the day, I take that as a great indication that I need to be off my phone and go to bed.

Even though I think ignorance is bliss when it comes to knowledge about how much I’ve been on my phone – the changes I’ve made to get off my phone have been positive. I mean, sure sometimes I cheat the system. For instance, I look up more things on the computer instead of my phone (but I don’t use social media on my computer). However, overall I know I spend¬†much less time in front of my screen.

And this means that I’ve been reading even more books than usual – always a good thing!

Tim has told me there are ways to get around this little app ‘ruining my life’ such as taking it off my menu screen or whatever-you-call-it on my iPhone. (Basically he’s saying I could hide it.) He also says I can download a different app to track it so that I can exclude Google Maps from being counted as ‘screen time’.

But I’m not a quitter – no sir – so I’m going to stick with using this measuring device to record my screen time and see if I can build some positive habits, especially during the month of November when this is a goal of mine!

Do you check your screen time? How do you feel about the amount of time you’re on your phone?

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