If you do one thing this week…make friends with Screen Time on Apple iOS 12

Are you or your teenager addicted to your iPhone? Can’t stop checking Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube? There is good news! Last week Apple released the iOS 12 upgrade, introducing a new setting called Screen Time - which if used properly, is a game changer.

By using Screen Time on your iPhone or iPad, you can access a daily report detailing your usage, very handy for those who aimlessly scroll through Facebook, check on mail every 5 minutes or use Twitter way past their bedtime. Most importantly, for those with teenagers, you can set a daily time limit with a separate parental password. Admittedly, the implementation of any teenage screen time restrictions will take steely parental determination and tone-deaf ears – but it should be worth it in the end.

Overall, Screen Time is a fantastic monitoring tool with a myriad of restriction options. Seeing your first few days or weeks of usage reports before putting restrictions in place is recommended. It makes both interesting and sometimes shocking reading. Your very first Screen Time report will be food for thought and will guide you on where and when future limits should be set.

We all know how easy it is to lose track of how long you spend on your device, and with Screen Time, if implemented correctly you can take back control of your time. It’s great seeing Apple finally take ownership of a global problem that they had a hand in creating - so, sit down, relax and get to know Screen Time and how to use it.

Below is a quick synopsis of what you can do with Screen Time.

• See a full daily or weekly App report

• See a report on our ‘Pickups’ data – how many times a day do you aimlessly pick up your phone?

• See Notifications data – what Apps are most distracting you the most?

• Take control - in ‘Downtime settings’ choose a time to start and end ‘downtime’ this is a perfect setting for peace at dinner or bed time

• Create an ‘App limit’ to set a daily or weekly limit on certain Apps, you can even increase time limits on Sundays or at weekends. For example, if the user has gone over the daily time limit for Instagram or Snapchat – the chosen app will be disabled from homes screen until the next day

• In content and privacy restrictions you can create a separate passcode, so kids can’t change your restrictions

• Disallow ‘in-app’ purchases or disable ‘wallet’ so kids can’t spend recklessly

• Set up content restrictions, which will block everything from explicit music, websites, movies and books

• Set age limits on movies and TV shows

• Block Siri from searching web

• Block explicit language

• Restrict kids from adding screen recordings, adding friends or playing multi-player games.

• Create allowable apps – set age limits on apps

See an easy You Tube guide on how to set things up: