Digital content consumption has reached an all-time high with more people spending time on their devices and connected to various apps and platforms. Research has shown that increased screen time may contribute to depression, anxiety and distractibility.
Tech leaders from Google, Apple and now Facebook have come together to bring attention to online addiction and help curb potentially destructive habits citing the Time Well Spent Movement. What was once a goal for apps and platforms to increase time spent exploring their offerings has now flipped to a health concern with technology.
Google has rolled-out an Android Dashboard for their devices to help understand the amount of time users are spending on their devices. An app timer limits the amount of time spent in apps as well as a do not disturb feature to prevent notifications from displaying on devices.
Apple will be releasing a similar feature for iPhone and iPad in iOS 12 which will be released in the fall. In the meantime, Apple users can check their time spent by tapping on ‘Settings’ visiting ‘Battery’ and clicking a little clock near the ‘Battery Usage’ menu. This provides a breakdown of the apps used as well as the total screen time for each.
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Facebook’s priority in the beginning of 2018, as announced in a Facebook post by Mark Zuckerberg, was also to curb online addiction and create more valuable experiences through time spent on Facebook as well as Facebook-owned app, Instagram.
On August 1st, Facebook announced that the “Your Activity” and “Your Time” metrics will be available to all users within settings in both the Instagram and Facebook apps. These statistics will give users a breakdown of how much time is spent per day and the ability to remind users to stop using the apps. A feature that mutes notifications for a set period of time is also available. These metrics will be offered to users within the next several weeks as part of an app update.
In addition to device settings and app settings on social media, the Moment app also helps monitor overall screen activity to provide information to users in hopes of limiting the amount of time spent digitally.