To get started, choose a day and time that everyone can come together and compare screen times. A good time could be before dinner—after each person checks their usage for the day, they can place their device in a basket where it can’t be used during dinner time. To get everyone invested and make it more fun, you can award prizes or give incentives to the family member with the lowest screen time. The goal of this is to not only bond as a family and spend more time together, but eventually reduce screen time all together.
Most smartphones make it fairly simple to track screen time. To check if your phone has the ability to track screen time, go to your phone’s settings and look for the “screen time” option. This is where you’ll find out the average amount of time you spend on your phone, how your activity levels changed from the week before, what apps you use the most, and which apps you are likely to go to first when you pick up your phone.
Some smartphones even offer such features as a “downtime,” “app limits” and “communication limits” options. The downtime tool is used to schedule time away from your screen. If you have a problem with putting your phone down and not checking it every five minutes, this will surely boost your productivity. Similarly, the other tools allow you to set time limits on apps so that you can schedule social media time, game time, or just time to browse the web.
Since smartphones have become the new normal, it’s important that we take a step back to make sure we aren’t becoming addicted to our devices. Even simply picking up your phone to check a notification or the time makes you more vulnerable to becoming distracted and experience a decrease in productivity. Parents should set an example for their children by showing them how to balance their time between social media, family, friends, school and hobbies while remembering to keep things fun!