Back in November I wrote a blog about discovering the “screen time” monitoring and managing service that Apple provides on its devices.
I knew I was in front of a device screen (and this doesn’t count laptop time at work or home) a lot but it was still amazing to see just how much. That pushed me to try to start a change I had already been considering for a long time.
I turned off notifications for many apps. I started deleting apps. I downgraded my phone plan so that it is a pay as you go with minimal data. Data is actually off by default on my iPhone so it is just a phone with Wifi. Finally, I decided to leave facebook behind as much as possible.
So I think now is a good time, nearly 4 months later to see how this has gone….
iPhone Time way down.
Like I said, I downgraded my plan to basically phone calls and wifi only by switching to Public Mobile. This was both a cost and sanity saving measure. My iPad remains on the family Telus account shared 6GB data. Instead of $80/mo I am at $25 on the phone.
The result? In November my 7 day screentime was: 6hrs 31 minutes total, 55min a day. And almost 4 hours of that total was on social “networking” (incl. texts) but it was mostly social media. 3 hours on the facebook app, 1 hour on twitter. Just a few minutes on messenger and 30 minutes on camera for non SM stuff.
This past week looks like this:
My total is cut in half as is per day use. Facebook is gone (I deleted the app from my phone) and the most used social media app is instagram with 19 minutes. My phone is now mainly a text messaging device (using Apple Messages and much lesser FB Messenger) and a camera. I am happy with that.
Pickups per day have gone from 46 to 34.
Notifications has also cut in half, from 627 a week, including 276 from facebook to 252 total a week. Mostly from private messaging (Messages or FB Messenger).
Again, I am pretty happy with that. Now for my iPad.
iPad time up a little but different apps.
In November my 7 day screentime was: 32hrs 26 minutes total onthe iPad. 4hr 38min a day. 21 hours of the total was on social networking including almost 16 hours on the facebook app, and 2.5 hours on twitter.
I have actually increased to 38 hours per week on the iPad with an hour more a day at 5hr 32 minutes. So I am taking time from the phone and putting it here. But the apps have changed. Facebook is almost gone, at just 42 minutes on the regular app and 43 minutes on the Pages app. Twitter is now 15 hours a day, which is an hour less than what I had on facebook before and 3 hours less than what I had combined on facebook and twitter. So a modest reduction overall on the big two. But I need to bring that down further.
Here are where the increases come in:
My use of Safari has increased by 3 hours total a week. Mail use is the same, and I have a new app called “TapShot” that I use to track my sons goalie stats during his game (which are about 1.5 hour a week). I am also using Numbers (an excel type app) for the same purpose quite a bit though not this week.
Pickups are up from 23 a day to 41 a day but notifications are down from 515 a week (73 a day) to 414 (59 a day).
Facebook and Twitter are both at zero notifications. I turned off all notifications from them. Facebook Pages is at 25 which is more than the 14 in November but still small. Most of the notifications now are from private messaging, like my phone. The other apps haven’t changed much.
There may be some inflation of these numbers because my phone and iPad sometimes sit open on my desk at work while they charge/backup so at that time I get notifications to both of them even though I would be only using my laptop to respond.
I will make a point of making sure my screens are locked when they are on my desk to prevent this.
I am surprised that the time on Twitter is as high as it is. It doesn’t feel like I spend as much time scrolling on Twitter as I did on Facebook. So I will have to monitor that and ease my boredom on the bus and at home in other ways.
I started a new book on my iPad for the first time in a long time. I don’t know if this will add screen time or not. I often fall asleep reading. 🙂
Overall up slightly.
I am happy that my screen time dedicated to facebook and twitter is down. But, my actual screen time is up from about 39 hours a week (5hrs a day) total for both to 41 hours. So I will focus first on continuing to cut twitter time and see if that total number comes down or gets replaced by something else.
Overall though, I am quite happy with how things have shifted. My phone use is very minimal now. Also, the Michael Cohen and SNC Lavalin drama of the past week or two seems to be dying down thankfully so maybe that will take care of some of it. 😉
More time in “Book.app” will be welcome.
I hope this helps spur others to track the time they spend and try to change their habits accordingly.
Thanks for reading.