As we already know, everything is good in its proper measure and the same thing happens with mobile use: addiction to our phones has become a serious problem for many, especially if we talk about children. To solve this, the big technology companies have created tools that help us use the smartphone a little less and disconnect at times.
In the same way that Apple introduced the function ‘Time of use’ with iOS 12, under the motto “Technology should improve life, not distract us from it”, Google released ‘Digital Wellbeing’ on Android 9 Pie . Since then, it has been adding improvements and novelties that only allow us to check the time we spend with our mobile , but also to put a limit on the use of the apps and games that we consider appropriate. Let’s see how to do it.
How to limit the time of use with Digital Wellbeing
Most people look at their cell phones at all hours: as soon as we get up, while we eat, in the bathroom, when we wait, before going to sleep … And much of that time is taken by games and social networks such as Twitter, TikTok, Instagram or Facebook, not to mention YouTube and messaging services like WhatsApp.
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If, for whatever reason, we want to limit the time we spend on any of them, we can easily do so through ‘Digital Wellbeing’ and its timers. The procedure on a mobile with pure Android is as follows:
- Go to ‘Settings’> ‘Digital Wellbeing and parental controls’.
- Once inside, in the ‘Ways to disconnect’ section, click on ‘Control Panel’.
- Choose any application from the list(for example, Slack) and tap on it.
- Click on ‘Application timer’, select the daily time you want to dedicate to it and click ‘OK’.
Once the timer is set, every time you exceed the daily time set, the app in question will pause and you will not be able to access it until the next day. Every day at midnight, the timer will reset and the counter will reset to zero.
It may be that what consumes a large part of our time is a web page. In that case, within ‘Digital Wellbeing’, click on Chrome and, in addition to setting a timer for the browser, you can set independent timers for certain websites. When you exceed the daily time limit, you will not be able to access that page and will have to wait until midnight.
Timers in Samsung One UI
Keep in mind that the way to limit the use of applications depends on the personalization layer that your mobile has and if it includes a control system similar or equivalent to Google’s ‘Digital Wellbeing’ (even with another name) . But in general terms, it is quite similar to the one we have discussed.
How to limit the time of use with apps
Beyond the ‘Digital Well-being’ tools that Android provides us, there are some applications that, in their Settings, also allow you to limit your time of use with a native function. Such is the case, for example, of TikTok: within the settings and privacy options, choose ‘Digital Detox’ and select a time limit.
Some apps, like TikTok, allow you to natively set a timer; others, like Instagram, propose reminders
Instagram, for its part, does not allow us to set a timer, but it does offer us the possibility of setting a reminder to notify us when we exceed a certain time of use: within the Settings of your profile, enter ‘Your activity’, Tap on ‘Time’, select the hours and minutes, and tap on ‘Set daily reminder’.
In addition, on Google Play, you can find some third-party apps to monitor your digital well-being, such as StayFree or Digitox . Of course, keep in mind that, to show you the data related to the time you spend on the phone, the app needs access to everything you do on your mobile.