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Pro Tip: How Do I Set Screen Time on Android Smartphone

by Felix Omondi

Our modern lives are intricately woven with digital technology, and screens are the primary interface for that interaction. Considering the numerous negative effects associated with excessive screen time. Awareness on screen time management is now rising with regards to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. 

This article will explore the various built-in tools on Android smartphones for monitoring screen time. Tools that will help you track smartphone usage patterns, put limitations, and cultivate a conscientious approach when engaging technology.

Digital Wellbeing & Parental Controls

Android has a built-in tool dubbed ‘Digital Wellbeing & Parental Controls’ designed to help you monitor screen time. This tool not only monitors the amount of time you spend on your phone, but also meticulously categorizes the time spent on specific apps.

Consequently, you get comprehensive insights on time spent on social media, communication, educational pursuits, entertainment, and productivity. Allowing for a more nuanced analysis of one’s digital interactions. To access this tool, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
  3. At the top right side of the screen, you should see a three-dot menu. Tap on it and select Manage your data.
  4. Now toggle the Daily device usage switch
  5. You should see a catalog listing your apps usage, notifications, and the number of times you’ve unlocked your device.

Digital Wellbeing & Parental Control Useful Features

With regards to leading a healthy digital lifestyle, Google has baked in useful features in the Digital Wellbeing & Parental Control tool. They are as follows:

1. App Timer

This feature is designed to limit the amount of time you can spend on specific apps. If you are the type of person who can’t self-regulate the time you spend on social media. This feature will come in handy.

To activate it, go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing & parental controls > Dashboard. At this point, you should see a list of your most frequently used apps. Tap on an app you’d like to put a timer limit on. At this point, you should see a chart of the screen time, number of times opened within the given day or hour, and number of notifications.

To set the timer, tap on the hourglass icon beside the app, and set the timer. Now set the limit and tap on OK. The timer limit resets daily at midnight. If you would like to remove the timer in the future, navigate to the same place and tap on the garbage icon to remove the timer for the given app.

2. Bedtime Mode

One of the key ingredients to a healthy lifestyle is going to bed every day at a specific time, and not having less than eight hours of sleep. Technology, particularly your smartphone, is notorious in disrupting this habit. Most people have a habit of getting into bed, and continue scrolling over their phone to be updated on social media or chats with friends and family.

The Bedtime Mode feature can help you stop this unhealthy habit. Simply go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing & parental controls > Bedtime mode. At this point, you can select either Use a schedule or Turn on while charging.

You can further customize it by tapping on the Customize button and select Do Not Disturb to activate during bed time. Additionally, you can select the screen to turn on to grayscale, to keep negative effects of screen Blue lights at night times.

Additionally, you can set Bedtime mode to turn off, when you morning wake-up alarm goes off.

3. Focus Mode

Focus Mode comes in handy during your waking-working-hours. You know, while you’re at the office trying to get some work done. The last thing you want is a notification blipping from your phone taking 20-minutes off your working hours.

This feature allows you to temporarily pause apps manually or on a schedule. Giving you the ability to choose the day and time of the week to pause certain apps. That way, you avoid distractions from the given apps when you want to be most productive. To activate Focus Mode, follow the steps below:

Settings > Digital Wellbeing & parental control > Focus mode. At this point, pick the app(s) that distracts you the most and tap on Set a schedule.

4. Flip to Shhh

Flip to Shhh enables you to place your phone facing downwards to turn on Do Not Disturb mode.

5. Heads Up

While walking out in the streets, have you ever come across a person walking from the opposite side towards you and they nearly bumped into you? All because they had their head bowed down to their phone while walking.

If they turn on the Heads Up feature, they will get constant notification from their Android phone to look ahead if they use their smartphone while walking.

Winding Up …

The integration of Digital Wellbeing & Parental Control into the Android system makes for a healthier digital lifestyle. By meticulously tracking screen time and app usage, you can tailor your interaction with technology through the above-mentioned features like App Timer, Bedtime Mode, and Focus Mode.

These tools enable effective management of smartphone usage, aiding in setting boundaries, and promoting mindful digital engagement. Embracing these features is pivotal in achieving a balanced relationship with technology, ensuring a more conscientious interaction with the digital devices in our daily lives.

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