Monday, July 24, 2017

Just 3 Taps to See Your Total Time of Phone/iPad App Use per Day/Week

Ever wonder how much time you spend on your phone? Or perhaps believe you don't spend much time at all but want to confirm it? Here's an easy, super fast way to see your personal phone use. In just three taps, you can view how many minutes/hours you have spent in every app in either the past 24 hours or the past week:
  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Battery
  3. Tap the clock as circled in the image.

This will display which apps you have used the most and for exactly how long. As I've written in the past, having personal data is an eye opening reality check. Data helps us see the difference between our intentions and reality. It can help us get motivated to change our practices. When you do this with students or your own children, spouse, or friends, it can lead to great discussions. Take, for example, the two phone screenshots pictured. I'm pretty sure you can quickly determine which one is 
from my phone and which one is from my high school daughter's phone. This personal data makes for a good discussion starter about the beliefs and values we have around the role of technology in our lives and how we choose to spend our time.

There are apps like Moment which use this battery use/time data to track and graph these totals for you, and even help you set goals and alerts to remind you to not use your device as much if you so choose. Moment now works for entire families, too, helping you share and set goals and hold one another accountable, too. Parents may wish to check out Curbi, too, to remotely access this report for your child's phone and set up rules, filters, and time limits. I'm currently testing out XooLoo, which works like Curbi but makes the data available to the kids, too, so they can self-monitor. 

Even if you don't use a special app for this, try reviewing your battery usage totals for a few weeks. Create a reoccurring calendar appointment to take a weekly screenshot of your phone use and compare your totals. Reflect on where and how long you are spending your time. Set goals as necessary. Ask yourself whether the amount of time you are spending in apps reflects your values and beliefs about how you want to spend your time (and who you want to be). Take a careful look how you are keeping busy and therefore what you aren't doing. Personally, I just finished another Facebook fast, this time for six months. If I wasn't paying attention to my personal data and app usage, I'm sure I wouldn't even realize how much time I spend on my phone. Set a goal for more JOMO!

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