A tracking app you need
I spend an average of about 2 hours on my phone. Some days I spend as little as an hour and one day I almost spent 4 hours on my phone. I know this because of the iOS tracking app called Moment.
I learned about this app as I was looking through a blog on medium which was one of the many on the topic of managing your phone, not letting your phone manage you. (Sadly I cannot find the blog I originally discovered the app from as this was a many weeks ago now.)
Once set up on your phone, Moment can tell you how long you have spent on your phone after having the app for a full day. Take a screenshot of the battery usage page in your settings and the app will be able to calculate how long you spent on each opened app. Your apps will be listed most to least used.
Moment requires that your location sharing is always on and you must leave the app on in the background of your phone at all times. These two conditions are easy to follow and the results you get are worth the small obligations on your end.
Like I said earlier, on average I spend about 2 hours and 20 minutes on my phone. It was reconfirmed by that app that my most used app is messages which was no surprise to me. The app tells me that I spend about 15–30 minutes on the messages. With Pinterest in a close second place as it has become my favourite pastime app now that I only have Facebook and Instagram on my phone during the weekends. The rest of the apps I use for about 3–12 minutes each.
As I am typing this out now I have already spent 34 minutes on my phone today. I started my day at 7:40 am and it is now 10:47 am. Today I have spent time on my phone texting my family members to get this app. I spent some time reading on my phone during breakfast. I also have been on my phone to adjust the music I listen to as I work.
When I look back on the day I spent almost 4 hours on my phone, I am taken aback. But I looked into the details and apparently 21 of those minutes were spent on the home screen of my phone, meaning I probably didn’t know my phone was on. So that was sort of a relief.
4 hours is a long time. So much could be accomplished in that time. I could start and finish a big DIY project, go places and be productive! Instead all I have to show for that time is a guilting 4 hours on my phone.
I say guilting because the app changes the colour of each logged day. If you spend less than 2 hours on your phone the colour is green. If you spend between 2 and 3 hours on your phone, the colour is yellow. If you spend over 3 hours on your phone then the colour for that logged day is an alerting red.
I also had my social media apps on my phone that 4 hour day so that helps explain why I went so far over my average. Tsk tsk.
My weekends with my social media apps are kind of like a dieter’s cheat day but for my social media. I do not ever allow the app to send me notifications during this time though. This way I can still forget about the apps. I do this to train myself not to crave the platforms and all the sugary, fattening content. This system is working for me.
As I have now had Moment for almost a month, it has given me predictions such as the possibility that I could end up using my phone for 5 years of my life at my current rate. And that on average I get about 9 hours of sleep. This is based on when I last am on my phone to when I open it again in the morning. I love how informative the app is.
Like I told you before, as I was creating this blog post, I was texting different family members to ask them to get this app. It has now been a few weeks since then and some now they have well over 7 days of data that they have shared with us.
41 year old female
Average daily time on phone: Around 4 hours.
Most used apps: Facebook, Safari, Pinterest
42 year old male
Average daily time on phone: 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Most used apps: Facebook, Candy Crush, Safari
71 year old male
Average daily time on phone: Just over 3 hours.
Most used apps: Messenger, Safari, Life 360 (a family location tracking app.)
18 year old male
Average daily time on phone: 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Most used apps: Facebook, Instagram, Safari
13 year old female
Average daily time on phone: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Most used apps: Pinterest and Messages
13 year old female
Average daily time on phone: 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Most used apps: Messages, Instagram, Pinterest
17 year old female
Average daily time on phone: 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Most used apps: Snapchat, Messages, Instagram
As you can see, the most popular apps are all about communication, Facebook and Messages are being used the most.
I would also like to note that the 41 year olds and up claim that they are on their phone more on the days that they are working. Meaning their phones are used for their work.
I explained to them that this experiment was just to see what the averages were, not to guilt people into using their phones less.
A couple people who I made get the app for this blog ended up making deliberate choices to shorten the amount of time they spend on their phones. Others embraced their hours spent on their phones. (One of them liked to brag about having the “high score”…?) But most just became self aware. Which was the point.
I encourage you to try the Moment app. Not to guilt you into changing your routine or anything, but to become aware.