Cure Your Phone Addiction With Apple’s Screen Time App Limits

I’m addicted to my phone.

It’s always in my hand, in my lap, on the table, right next to my bed while I sleep.

I iMessage/Facebook Message/Google Hangout/Instagram DM with friends and strangers all day and night; I scroll through Facebook and Instagram mindlessly, admiring vacation photos with over-saturated oceans and smiling kids from friends I’ve never met; I read tweets and then get mad about politics and misogyny; then I do it all over again.

What’s the difference between “healthy usage” and “addiction”?

Do you look at your iPhone every 2 minutes? Are you constantly checking how many likes your recent post got? Do you panic if you don’t respond to people’s messages/DMs immediately? Are you spending hours scrolling through squares? Are notifications the reason that you never get anything done?

Enter Screen Time.

It’s your virtual time manager to tally up what you do on your screen and tell you when your time is up. It puts you in a virtual time out unless you make a deliberate action to bypass it.

How To Turn On Screen Time in iOS 12

Upgrade to iOS 12

Go to Settings —> Screen Time —> App Limits.

iOS will ask you to pick an entire category that will set your time restriction. If you want to focus on just Instagram, go back to Screen Time, find the app in the list of “Most Used” and tap it.

Choose the amount of time you want to spend for the day.

A few minutes before your time is about to run out, iOS will send a reminder notification. Once your limit is hit, a white screen comes up and lets you extend the limit by 15 minutes or ignore it.

Apple iOS 12 Screen Limit time break down

I’m on my second day of using this feature and it’s made me incredible mindful of how much time I’m spending on social media. Today, I spent 4 and a half hours. Yikes. That’s SO GODDAMN MUCH.

If anything, I’m hoping to cut down on time I spend on my phone and more time in the present.



Author: Becca Risa Luna

Seattle-based fashion writer and personal essayist. Likes designer handbags, glaring openness, and subtle vulgarity.

2 thoughts

  1. Brilliant opinion piece! It can be quite shocking seeing how much time we waste staring at a screen. Here at Unplug, we certainly think screen time tracking is a great idea. We will share this piece with our readers!


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