Smartphone addiction is a growing problem. Do you want to cut down? Then you first need to know what your screen time is and these Android apps can help with that.
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Screen time apps for Android
When even Google thinks we can do less with our collective screen time, you know that the hell is out. Official figures from the CBS it appears that in recent years we have increasingly been looking at screens, both via computers and telephones.
SIDN research indicates the same. According to the internet organization, it appears that in 2019 the average Dutch person looked at her or his smartphone for about two hours a day. That is double compared to 2014 and is becoming more and more. Also because we are increasingly at home due to the corona pandemic.
This involves risks. There are several scientific studies that indicate, for example, that high screen time can cause problems such as feelings of stress and difficulty falling asleep at night.
You can use a screen time app to address this problem. This measures how long the display of your smartphone is on every day. Of course, this method is not watertight, because, for example, it is not registered whether you actually watch. These measurements do give a good picture of how addicted you are to your smartphone. These are your options.
The easiest method to map your screen time can probably already be found on your smartphone: Digital Wellbeing. Google’s bundling of apps and functions against smartphone addiction not only measures how long you stare at the screen, but also provides means to get this number down.
For example, you can set a ‘curfew’ for yourself. From that moment on, your screen will go gray and apps will no longer have any colors, making it less tempting to grab your phone in bed.
Incoming notifications are also muted and thanks to the so-called app alarm clocks you can kill addictive applications. If you yourself are allowed on Instagram for a maximum of half an hour a day, this lock ensures that the app is locked after a period of 30 minutes.
Digital Wellbeing also provides insight into your screen time in great detail. The extensive statistics not only show the average, but also indicate which apps you use the most. Does this scare you? Then you can set an app alarm clock, as discussed above.
With many smartphones, Digital Wellbeing is in the settings screen after downloading. You can then slide the switch at ‘Show icon in the app list’ in this window so that the box turns green. From this moment on you will also find Digital Wellbeing in the list of all apps.
Screen time apps: several alternatives in a row
Digital Wellbeing is still available on smartphones, but not all Androids can handle it yet. Do you have a device that should do without Google’s attempt against smartphone addiction? Fortunately, there are more than enough alternatives.
A good screen time app is ActionDash. Just like Digital Wellbeing, this application conjures up a dashboard on your screen with information about which apps consume the most time. However, the functionalities are a bit more limited and you have to pay, for example, to view your statistics in the long term. That’s a shame, but if you simply want to check your daily screen time, ActionDash is fine.
ActionDash: Digital Wellbeing & Screen Time helper
Digitox, as the name suggests, tries to get you off your phone. A handy feature compared to ActionDash is that you can create app categories and set alarms for this. This way you don’t have to install an alarm clock per app, but you can indicate that you want to spend a maximum of 1 hour on social media every day. How you divide this time between Facebook, Instagram and TikTok does not matter; once the limit is reached, all social media apps will be locked.
Digitox: Digital Wellbeing – Screen Time
Healthy living with your smartphone
Do you not only want to find out your screen time, but also know how to reach for your smartphone less often? Then check out our discussion about the best and best alternatives for Digital Wellbeing. Here we discuss all the options that are available for kicking off your smartphone.
Do you want to extend the theme beyond just smartphone addiction? Check out our article about apps that can help you work on your mental health in general. Finally, also check our article with 5 lessons from the corona crisis and our smartphone use.