This is embarrassing, but I’m doing it anyway. I am revealing to you precisely how much I use my phone, down to the minute. Now, Friday and Saturday don’t count, because I have to leave my phone on for Shabbos Clock to work — I’m not actually using it for over 1,000 minutes. But otherwise, yeah, I use my phone that much.
For a little while, it troubled me to know how much I was using my phone, but not anymore. I’m no longer worried about it because I’m watching these numbers go down week over week. The very act of tracking this usage is making me reduce it, and that’s exactly the result I wanted. The medicine works.
The app I’m using to track my phone usage is called Moment. I’m sharing it with you again because I want to make sure you know that it actually works. The notifications and alarms it sends me while I use my phone are so perfectly annoying that the mere awareness that they’re coming will convince me to put my phone away. Likewise, that threat keeps me from taking the phone out in the first place when I should be spending my attention elsewhere.
Whether or not your own phone usage bothers you, there are also other people to think about. In my experience, people’s instincts are now fine-tuned to quickly pick out who the phone person is in a group, and that person becomes the scapegoat for everybody else’s phone guilt. Moreover, when you’re home with loved ones, the choice is stark: phone time or loved-ones time. If anyone’s phone time is a concern in your life — as it has often been in mine — I’m now convinced that keeping track of it with Moment can solve the problem.
To reassure the real iPhone jockeys out there, I have to scroll down a lot to find Moment in my Battery Usage list for the last seven days; it’s tied with Calendar for 1%. I don’t even use the built-in Calendar app. So if you’re worried that using this app will drain your battery, well, I have two things to say. First of all, it won’t, because it’s amazingly efficient. But more importantly, if you’re using this app, you’re presumably doing so because you want to use your phone less. You know what consumes vastly more battery than anything else about the phone? The freaking screen. If this app is keeping your phone in your pocket, I promise it’s saving a lot more battery than it’s using.
(Just so we're clear, this post is not at all sponsored by Moment. I just want to praise it.)