Digital Wellbeing Tips

Our phones are attached to us at almost every moment of every day. You feel weird when you don’t know where your phone is, right? Our phones have a ton of personal information on them and they’re such essential devices for many different reasons.

We use our phones daily to stay in communication with people by text, phone call, email — you name it. But we are also guilty of wasting time on our phones. We look something up on the Internet and then all of a sudden we’ve opened five articles we want to read or videos we want to watch. We intend to just check out that one notification that we got and then end up blindly scrolling through social media.

How much time do you think you actually spend on your phone every day? You might be surprised to learn how much screen time you clock daily. Here’s how to check screen time on Android devices.

How to check screen time on Android

The easiest way for you to check screen time on Android devices is already built into your device. If you navigate to your Android’s Settings, you can either search for or scroll down to find Digital Wellbeing and parental controls.

Here, you can see where you spend your time, how many times you unlock your phone, and so much more. Let’s look a little deeper at what Digital Wellbeing is and how it can help you.

What is Digital Wellbeing?

Digital Wellbeing is a built-in way to check and monitor screen time on yours or your child’s Android device. Aside from just checking how much time you’re spending in each of your apps, you can set goals and timers for yourself to help lessen your time in front of your screen.

Related: A few days in with Digital Wellbeing, and it’s already changing my life

It’s no secret that our phones are important and necessary, but do they need to take up such huge time chunks out of our days? Google created Digital Wellbeing to help people easily disconnect throughout the day and at the end of the day.

How to use Digital Wellbeing on Android

Using Digital Wellbeing on Android is as simple as opening it. It comes pre-installed on your device and you don’t have to log in to anything to access your screen time information.

Navigate to your Settings menu. Then, tap on or search for Digital Wellbeing and parental controls. As soon as you tap on this, you can see all of your recent screen time for all your apps. And if you tap on a specific app’s name, you can see a breakdown of your historical time spent on that app.

There are a few different features within Digital Wellbeing that you can customize to fit your needs. For a brief overview, keep reading.

Or, take a more in depth look: Digital wellbeing: How to form a better relationship with your phone

Digital Wellbeing app timers

app timers digital wellbeing

Credit: Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

If there is a specific app that you just can’t force yourself to stop using or cut back on, this feature is great. You can allow yourself a specific amount of time each day to spend on various apps. There are preset options of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or you can make your own custom timer.

Once you’ve hit your screen time limit for the day, you cannot use that app until the timer resets at midnight.

Digital Wellbeing bedtime mode

digital wellbeing wind down mode bedtime

Credit: Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

Bedtime mode, or Wind Down, changes the screen to grayscale in an effort to make you want to put your phone down faster. It’s also less stressful on your eyes at night time.

Bedtime mode will also mute calls, notifications, and more so that you are not disturbed while you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. You can set the times and days that you want to use bedtime mode and it’ll automatically turn on and off so you don’t even have to worry about remembering it.

Digital Wellbeing focus mode

Samsung One UI 2 digital wellbeing work time

One UI 2 Focus Mode

Focus mode is one of the best things Digital Wellbeing has to offer. When you’re in Focus mode, pretty much all of your apps are disabled, forcing you to stop using your phone as a crutch and get stuff done. You can choose which apps are allowed and which apps are not.

grayed out apps in focus mode digital wellbeing

Credit: Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

As a default, Focus mode comes with Work time and Me time. Both are set to only allow four apps: Clock, Phone, Google Play Store, and Settings. However, you can add extra apps, like Spotify or another music player, if you want them to be available to you during Focus mode. You can also create custom Focus modes if you wanted something extra in addition to Work time and Me time. For example, Workout time might be another good Focus mode to use.

Of course, you can turn Focus mode off and on whenever you please. So it will ultimately be up to you to exercise willpower and not turn Focus mode off until you’re finished with your task. When all of your apps are grayed out, it serves as a reminder that you need and want to focus. Hopefully, that will motivate you to stay productive!

Digital Wellbeing parental controls

Digital Wellbeing is a great way to monitor your child’s screen time as well. In order to use the parental controls through Digital Wellbeing, you will need to download the Family Link app from the Google Play Store. Then, you have to set everything up on your phone and then your child’s phone.

Related: 5 best Android parental control apps and other methods

Once everything is set up, you can monitor your child’s screen time, set time limits for them, disable their apps at bedtime, and more.

parental controls on digital wellbeing family link

Credit: Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

Take control of your screen time

Knowing how much time you spend on your phone is important for self-awareness. Even if you don’t want to cut back on any screen time right now, it’s still useful to know-how. In the future, you may want to reduce your screen time and instead spend your time on more useful projects.

Say you find yourself not being able to finish a project on time. Or, maybe you don’t have enough time to work out. Checking your screen time can give you valuable insight that can help you manage your time better.

Read next: How your smartphone is changing your brain

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