The other day I got an alert on my cell phone telling me that I had spent an hour that day on my phone. After I got over the shock of being spied on by my phone I clicked on the alert to check it out. A new feature offered up by the latest apple software update iOS 12 allows you to track how much time you spend on your phone and breaks it down even further by how much time you spend on each app. Another interesting feature is the ability to limit how much time on you spend on each app – for example – if you decide you are wasting way too much time on Facebook you can set a time limit of an hour a day and after that you will not be able to access the app anymore. There is also a new feature called “downtime” which limits your usage of certain apps before bedtime.
Why is this important? There are many reasons too much screen time is not good for you, ranging from decreased socialization to lack of productivity to outright cell phone addiction (yes this is a thing). From an optometric perspective, too much screen time leads to a condition called Digital Eye Strain. Symptoms of this are tired eyes, headaches, fatigue, dry eye, light sensitivity, and a range of other annoying symptoms. While we can prescribe glasses for this condition (stay tuned for more on this in another post) the best way to combat eye pain from too much screen time is to limit the amount of time you spend on screens. Kudos to Apple for creating this useful new tool.