Here’s the problem with Apple Screen Time, but it still prompted me to quit Facebook!

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

In late 2018, Apple rolled out Screen Time – a feature that will tell you how much time you’ve spent on your phone in the last week. It’s a great tool in theory, but I hate it. Mostly. There are some good pieces.

Week 1 results: 54 hours on my phone. What? That’s impossible. When did I sleep or work or do anything else? That’s about a third of the week. Of all hours.

And I was shocked to see that I spent 4 hours on Facebook in a week. I don’t even like Facebook personally or professionally.

Personally, it’s so much content from people that I don’t need that many updates from. I may have spent half of that 4 hours snoozing people. Ugh.

Professionally, Facebook doesn’t show my page content to that many people. Clicks to the website are minimal. It’s mostly a lost cause for people (businesses) like me who don’t want to spend money on Facebook promotions.

Related: Why Facebook is a waste of time for publishers

So, we’ll see how long I will stay off Facebook. I’ve deactivated my account, which is different from deletion. That means it’s re-activated when I log back in. To not do that is actually harder than it sounds. So many sites are linked to Facebook. The reason, I didn’t delete it for now was because I want to keep using Facebook Messenger, which this allows me to do. If I end up not using Messenger much I might delete the account. I also stopped using Instagram, but still use Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

But, what is the problem with Screen Time already?

It’s not perfect. For example, I noticed that it said I spent a lot of time on Pandora. But there isn’t much to do on the app. I just have it run and listen to music while doing something else. That’s technically screen time. I wanted to test that theory.

I had Apple Maps up and running and ON screen while driving to Mason City from Cedar Rapids. As you can see the entire drive was counted as screen time:

screen time

So, I’m already 2 hours in the hole, if we want to think of it that way, for screen time. Something to consider too for parents if your kids listen to Pandora while playing basketball outside, for example. That’s not the same screen time as watching a movie.

So anyway, the screen time feature is nice, but it’s not perfect. That’s okay, though I know we expect technology to be perfect.

But that’s okay. It gotten me to quit Facebook and gotten me to  think about what I’m doing on my phone. Some tasks are work-related. Others aren’t. Trying to find the balance of what’s okay and what’s overkill.