I periodically run small accountability projects on Facebook – a recent one was about phone usage.

I started using the (buggy) early release version of iOS 12 because I was really interested in the ‘screen time’ feature. After a week of trying to use my phone ‘naturally’ I was pretty shamed by amount of time I spent glued to my device. (Picking it up 100 times a day is amazing)

The accountability bit was: I’m planning on posting the results once a week until they either improve, or I stop being embarrassed by them.

The final results were (with links to the facebook posts:

Week hours and minutes per day
Week 1 4:12
Week 2 2:54
Week 3 2:56
Week 4 1:29 (Mostly due to having lots of guests stay over so there wasn’t time  to play on phone)
Week 5 who knows?
Week 6 0:19 (Finally got the hang of it)
Week 7 0:36 (of which 32% was google maps).

They started pretty appallingly (I was amazed), but got rapidly better at week 6. At the time I wrote:


I had a proper think and realised that, while in the house, my phone is almost always the second best device to use (I got myself a nice camera recently, all my notifications go through to my watch and are actually best dealt with on a laptop). So I may as well only use it when I’m out of the house.

So that’s what I’ve been doing – the phone has been charging by the door and I’ve only picked it up when leaving the house.

And I was able to mostly keep to that.    Overall it was a successful experiment, a dramatic difference, and I’m pleased.

EDIT, in the years since my phone usage has waxed and waned but remains reasonably low - it’s normally quite a good indicator of my mental health as much as anything