“Screen Time” Astounds Apple Users: New iOS Update Compels Limiting Technology Use

by The Cowl Editor on October 25, 2018


Photo of iPhone displaying screen time usage.
Screen Time displays the total usage of each app, compelling users to limit the time they spend on their phones. photo courtesy of iOS Gadget Hacks.

by Emily Ball ’22

Opinion Staff

Apple recently introduced their newest iOS 12 update with many new features including one very important innovation: Screen Time.

According to Apple’s Support Page, Screen Time allows users to “see the time spent in apps, usage across categories of apps, how many notifications are received, and how often devices are picked up.”

Screen Time has rudely awakened Apple users to how frequently they truly are using their phones. People who assume they only spend a total of two to four hours a day on Snapchat or Instagram may find out they actually spend closer to ten hours on social media sites.

Morgan Weiner ’21 said, “The first time I checked the daily screen time I was alarmed by the fact I spent nearly seven hours a day on my phone.”

This realization decreases the likelihood that users will invest that much time in those certain apps going forward, which is beneficial to today’s society, as most people overuse their phones and rely on technology as their main form of communication.

“Since then, I make it my goal to spend fewer minutes on my phone each day. I successfully killed all my Snapchat streaks and spend way less time scrolling through Instagram,” said Weiner.

The shock due to the data from Screen Time should encourage users to spend less time on trivial apps such as Snapchat and Instagram and spend more time focusing on fostering authentic relationships with a foundation of face-to-face communication.

Due to this effect, Screen Time is a valuable addition to Apple’s technology.

Furthermore, Screen Time allows users to set a limit on the amount of time they spend on certain apps. With this asset, users can set a time limit on apps that they find themselves mindlessly perusing, so that they can put all of their attention on the task at hand.

Screen Time’s limits on the usage of certain apps is a beneficial feature, assisting users in avoiding the seeming inescapable desire of getting sucked into the world of social media. 

The time limits also allow parents to limit their children’s usage of particular apps, which is helpful for parents of current teenagers who have grown up with the temptations of social media.

Teenagers today are accustomed to a life consumed by social media and technology. This norm seems to encourage teenagers that the constant use of social media is what everybody does. 

The limit on usage will show teenagers that there is more to the world than social media and technological means of communication. Thus, grades may increase and current teenagers will have an improved ability to communicate in real life situations, rather than solely virtually.

The introduction of Screen Time in the iOS 12 update is controversial; many people find it invasive and unnecessary. However, the ideal effect of this update is a decrease in the aimless time spent on social media and a greater focus on communication and other aspects of real life.