Managing and reducing your time online might be harder than you think. That's why we've started monitoring our social media usage using the techniques below.
We'll start by setting aside time where we agree we can look at our social media accounts. Pick natural times like just after breakfast, on a lunch break or a commute. Whilst it would be great to cut them out completely, it's quite unrealistic. Like all things, the goal should be balance.
Next, tracking your current habits and looking for ways to make improvements will be key to success. Depending on the phone you have, you can use one of the following methods.
Tracking on iOS is easy to do just as with Android by default. To get started:
Open the “Settings” app on the iPhone or iPad
Go to “Screen Time”
This will show you a summary of all the screen usage of your apps across the last 24 hours and the last 7 days.
Even better, you can choose “App Limits” to restrict your time within categories of apps. Obviously, you'll want to pick Social Networking.
Simple! Now you have a defined time limit set on all social networking and social media for that device!
Google has an app in beta called Google Digital Wellbeing. This allows you to not only track your time across certain apps but also to set daily time limits (helpful if you know you are limited on outdoor time).
To get the app, visit the Google Play Store. It is in beta, but we can attest it works well. You'll need to sign up as a tester, which is fine. There are other 3rd party apps that can also track your app usage if you are happy using those.
The Google Dashboard gives you a complete picture of how you use your phone. Get a daily view of the time spent on your phone, how frequently you use different apps, and how many notifications you get.
You could check in daily to see how much or little screen time you have on your apps, but as an Android user I (James) will be probably setting hard caps as well to avoid me going over something I know I can't achieve, particularly when running our own Instagram accounts!
Good luck and if you have any other ways in which you will measure your time online let us know and we will add them to the guide.