New ‘screen time’ feature creates no difference in phone usage

Screen Time is a new development that comes with IOS 12 for iPhone users. Users can find Screen Time in the “Settings” app on the main screen grouped just under “Notifications.” The app shows different levels of activity on iPhones weekly as compared to daily. There’s also a new feature where users can set time limits of certain (or all) of their apps. Lydia VanEngelenhoven, a freshman at Holmes Junior High, has experience with this new update. VanEngelenhoven said, “My average amount of screen time averages anywhere from two and a half hours to sometimes over four hours. It mostly depends on the kind of day, if I’m doing nothing all day except watching Netflix it’s longer than if it’s a Tuesday night and I have homework to do.” When users look into the app further, it will tell them things like “30 minutes above average” or “15 minutes below average” and indicate it with an arrow. “When I check my screen time, it’s usually just out of curiosity to really see how long I’ve been on my phone, but it doesn’t necessarily stop me from going on it. It’s more like a reminder of ‘you should get off your phone now. You could really be doing something else,’” VanEngelenhoven said. Despite seeing that, she said it doesn’t often sway her from using her phone.    VanEngelenhoven said, “If I’m being completely honest, I’ll usually just see my Screen Time but keep using my phone anyway.” VanEngelenhoven isn’t the only one experiencing a realization with Screen Time. “I’d say my Screen Time is probably pretty even with my friends. They’re not way busier than me, and I’m not way busier than them, so we have somewhat balanced freetime,” VanEngelenhoven said. Phone usage has skyrocketed over the years and is becoming increasingly more of an issue. VanEngelenhoven said, “I believe Screen Time is like an ice breaker for a lot of people who may be in denial about how often they go on their phones. They created new settings where you can set app limits, and that’s a big step up to eliminate this issue.” There are so millions upon millions of apps that users could put their time aside for, but she narrows it down to a handful of her favorites. “The apps I spend most of my time on are probably Snapchat, Instagram, Apple Music, FaceTime and a few addictive games when I’m bored,” she said. It’s no secret that cell phones can be a distraction. VanEngelenhoven said, “My phone distracts me all the time for things I should be doing. For example, I’ll be studying for a test I have coming up, and my friend will FaceTime me randomly, or I’ll go on my phone just as a ‘brain break’ and end up scrolling through Instagram’s explore page for two hours.”

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