Screen Time is Apple’s response to growing criticism that too many iPhone and iPad users spend too much time using apps on their iPhones and iPads and somehow that is Apple’s fault. Is it Coca-Cola’s fault that too many American’s are overweight?
Wait. Don’t answer that. I’m from Atlanta. Coca-Cola is from Atlanta. I have to be careful how I respond to such questions.
Screen Time… lets you know how much time you and your kids spend on apps, websites, and more. This way, you can make more informed decisions about how you use your devices, and set limits if you’d like to. Read on to learn how to turn on Screen Time, view your report and set limits, and manage a child’s device.
There it is. The secret. Screen Time is not about how much you use apps on your iPhone and iPad. It’s all about the children. Only children get addicted to smartphones and tablets. Adults are in total control of our faculties and only make rational decisions.
No, I don’t know what happened to adult rationality during the 2016 election.
If it’s your child’s device, you can set up Screen Time and create settings right on their device or you can use Family Sharing to configure your child’s device from your own device. After you set up your child’s device, you can also use Family Sharing to view reports and adjust settings any time, right from your own device.
A few years ago Apple installed a battery shaming app on iOS. You’ll find it in Settings. Scroll down to Battery. What you get is a quick view of which applications are sucking all the juice from your iPhone or iPad battery.
That can be handy.
How handy is it to worry about which apps you use and how much you use them and when you use them?
As an adult, it salves the curiosity gene. For children, knowing which apps are accessible, when they can be used, and having the option to control the amount of time they’re used is priceless. For the adults.
For children? Not so much. But that’s the point.
How good is this?
Screen Time gives you a detailed report about how your device is used, apps you’ve opened, and websites you’ve visited, any time that you want to see it.
The only real problem with using Screen Time is the amount of discipline required to use it appropriately– more difficult for yourself, less difficult for children, but beneficial because it helps to curb potential addiction.
If you use Screen Time.
Pia Ceres has a good step-by-step guide to Screen Time controls but it takes little time to feel somewhat overwhelmed by the options.
It’s all part of a greater push by tech companies to mitigate the ways personal devices are engineered to be addictive, by creating all kinds of new “digital wellness” features. Similar features showed up on Facebook and Instagram this summer, and Android’s own set of screen time tools
Big Brother is watching. We get to be our own Big Brother. This may be the very best tip for using Screen Time on your iPhone or iPad:
Maybe you’ve already nailed zen and the art of self-control. Or maybe you’ve just reconciled with your egregious phone use. That’s cool, too. If the new screen time management tools don’t work for you, just scroll to the bottom of Screen Time to turn it off, and enjoy your freedom.