Are Apple’s Screen Time reports useful?

With Screen Time, you can access real-time reports that show how much time you spend on your iPhone, iPad, Mac or iPod touch. You can also set limits for what you want to manage. 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 like.

Screen Time provides management tools for customers to control how they spend their time interacting with their iOS devices.
Screen Time provides management tools for customers to control how they spend their time interacting with their iOS devices.

Justin Pot for The Wall Street Journal:

Apple says it launched Screen Time in 2019 to help people build a better relationship with their devices. Your phone tracks how much time you spend tapping, further divided by how long you’ve used other specific apps and sites. And every Sunday morning, by default, you get a push notification that tells you a detailed report of what you have done with your phone in the last week.

You can use this data to set yourself soft limits with a particular app or category of app. Want to spend less than 4 hours a day on Twitter? A noble goal! Try setting the time allowed for the app to 2 hours. After you have accumulated 120 minutes on Twitter, a message will be sent to you telling you that you have reached your “Time Limit”. You can take a cue to put your phone down, snooze the notification for another 15 minutes, or recklessly ignore it for the rest of the day.

Supporters of Apple’s Screen Time insist that it provides crucial information about your habits that can help you change them … A common complaint about the weekly Screen Time report is that checking it inspires little if not anxiety. Breetel Graves, 34, a support engineer in Canaan, Connecticut with two children, says social media apps like TikTok and Instagram offer what she sees as necessary downtime in her chaotic life. The amount of time she spends “zoning out” with deviant messages already causes guilt, she said, and getting a weekly report via an invasive push notification only makes her feel grosser. “I spend enough time being ashamed of everything by myself,” she said.

MacDailyNews takes: Do you find Apple’s usage time reports helpful?

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