Screen Time

By: Wes Winter

I unlocked my phone on average 124 times a day over the last 7 days. Wow. How much do you look at your phone on a daily basis? Have you ever thought about how many times you pick up your phone in general, push the home button to see if there is a new notification, or even the amount of time you spend with certain apps open? I for one am as guilty at this as anyone and over the last Apple update they introduced Screen Time which measures your basic phone activity and interactions. It is interesting for some and disappointing for others, but nonetheless I think could be a useful new feature to help us stay productive on a daily basis.

How to use Screen Time

  • Go to Settings and tap Screen Time. Enable the feature if it’s not already switched on.
  • Here, you’re presented with your usage so far for the current day. The total amount of screen time is displayed above a horizontal bar that splits up your app habits by category.
  • Tap on the time total for a closer look at your most used apps. Here, you can toggle between “today” and “last 7 days.” In addition to apps, this list will also show you individual websites that you might be spending a decent chunk of time on.
  • Scrolling down will show you a few different graphs. One is for the number of times you’ve picked up your iPhone; Apple only counts a “pickup” when you’ve interacted with the device or on-screen content in some way. If all you do is turn on the screen, that’s not enough to get tallied. Below that is the section for notifications. Screen Time shows you an all-encompassing total for the day, an hourly average, and a more detailed per-app list sorted by which ones are pinging you most frequently.


Granted a lot of us use our phone for work and family. However I found myself shocked by the tally of over 100 times a day average it recorded me merely picking up my phone. Working on how many times I engage with my phone outside of work habits will in turn make me more productive in other aspects of my life and hopefully free up some time! I also found this interesting in relating to our health and fitness. When trying to create new habits such as daily hour workouts or finding the time to meal prep healthy food options for the week, it’s easy to just simply say I don’t have time! I personally find myself saying it and apparently 3 hours 59 minutes on average of each day is spent staring down at my phone, which is crazy!  If you have that friend, family member or even yourself who says there’s just not enough time in the day for a hour workout or meal prep takes too long, I challenge you to refer to Screen Time and hopefully the time can be found to live a healthier lifestyle!