I’ll be the first to admit that I use scrolling through socials as a crutch – a quick fix to alleviate boredom that turns into the ultimate procrastination tool. I, like many these days, have conditioned myself to look at life through a screen.
I’ve tried to “unlearn” my scrolling habit by completely detoxing, only to binge-scroll when I return to the socials. But recently I turned to an in-between that encourages scrolling more intentionally: setting screen time limits on my iPhone.
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My goal is to develop enough discipline to know when it’s time to step away from content entirely. But for now I rely on my iPhone to set the boundaries for me. Here’s how you can, too.
How to set time limits on an iPhone
Your iPhone settings let you set a time limit for any app you have downloaded. While I set limits mostly for social media, you can also set them for any app you want some space from.
Can you set screen time limits on iPhone?
Yes, you can set a time limit for different apps by leveraging the iPhone or iPad’s “App Limits” option. Go to your iPhone’s Settings > Screen Time > tap on the App Limits option from the menu > select which apps you want to set a particular limit on (note that you’ll have to select in batches if you want to set different time limits across a variety of apps) > choose your time limit.
How do screen limits work on iPhone?
Screen limits let you choose a set amount of time you spend on given apps. Depending on how much space you want from a given app, you can set anywhere from 1 minute to 23 hours — those are extremes, but you have a lot of freedom to choose your boundaries. Once you’ve timed out, a notification from iPhone will appear, locking the app for the remainder of the day. While it’s tempting to ignore the limit and extend your time, try not to give in.
Why can my child ignore screen time limits on iPhone?
Once the set screen time has expired on a certain app, iPhone will notify users that their time is up. On the bottom of the notification, however, is the option to ignore the limit. Users can ignore the limit for another minute, 15 minutes, or the entire day. The lock will then be lifted accordingly. iPhone makes it a little too easy for you — or your child — to easily ignore limits, so it takes a bit of willpower to resist. If you’re a parent looking for stricter controls, check out our picks for the 5 best parental control apps.