Technology has taken our world by storm and how! That makes us wonder. If too much screen time good for you? It is nearly impossible to remember our lives before digital devices took them over. Like it or not, the integration of digital devices in our lives has reached an extent where it won’t be an exaggeration to say that our lives are being taken over.
Addictive too much screen time brings with it the inevitable ramifications. Let’s first look at the medical ones. Various physical and mental disorders have been associated with prolonged screen time across all age groups. Enough research proves that the worst affected are young children and teens who struggle with lack of focus along with shortage of curiosity. The issue becomes worse in case of teens. Research says that if the screen time is more than 7 hours, the instances of depression and anxiety also become more rampant.
Apple aims to prevent too much screen time
To help you combat the problem and keep a tab on how much you look into the screens, Apple has come up with Screen Time in its iOS 12. Screen Time provides the user with organised data, which shows them the time spent on various apps on the iPhone or the iPad. Not only that, it also tells the user the frequency of use.
This feature can be easily enabled by going into ‘Settings’. This will give you present day usage along with data which has been compiled over the week. You can also easily check which apps you spend most of your time on and which apps you shuffled between the most over the past 7 days. Users can also view how many times they have picked up the phone! This is the actual time when you used the screen in some way.
What about Android users?
Android users can also benefit from a similar feature known as Digital Wellbeing, which is available in Android 9 Pie phones. Similar to Digital Wellbeing, an app known as the ActionDash is available on Android Phones running on Lollipop or later.
Digital Wellbeing gives the user much required information about how much time they spend on their phones and on specific apps. Also, it can help the user set a limit on the time that is spent on the phone. The downside, is its limited availability. It is available on Android One phones and in the Google Pixel range.
ActionDash can be the solution for other Android users. This app gives user statistics about app specific usage on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Users can also find out the time spent on a specific app. Action Dash is free while a paid version is also available in the play store.
Our users review Apple’s Screen Time
When asked if she uses Screen Time by Apple, homemaker Ritika said that the feature is quite easy to use. It has helped her reduce the time she spends on her phone by presenting her with the figurative data. She was surprised to know the number of notifications she was looking into on an everyday basis. Ritika says with the help of Screen Time she has been able to put away her phone for sometime. Although she admits that her constant need to look into her phone will take some amount of will power as well.
On the other hand, Ritika’s daughter who is an Android user loves Digital Wellbeing. She was spending significant amount of time on social media apps which in turn was affecting her productivity and vision. With Digital Wellbeing, she was able to quit her habit of looking into her phone first thing in the morning. However, even with the app, she says a lot of self-restraint is required to cope with the digital addiction. The good thing is, mobile usage reminders from the app restrict her screen time since it gets her to put down her phone even if it is for a short period of time.
It is safe to say that as our lives are being taken over by screens. We are surely losing control and track of time. Apps that help to control screen time and curb can only be gentle reminders. The real restriction on screen time can only be imposed by users themselves. We know that the blue light of digital screens can cause long term physical damage to the body and mind. That should be enough to set a threshold against excessive usage. Hopefully, one day we all will rule our own minds instead of letting a pocket-size screen become our master.