A few weeks ago Aaron introduced me to an app called “moment” that tracks your iPhone usage. Admittedly, I was a little nervous to find out exactly how much time I spent on my mobile device. Before Max was born, Aaron and I agreed that we didn’t want to be those parents that don’t interact with our kids because they are constantly on their phones. While we have been doing a pretty good job, I could probably still do better. Today I’m sharing an unedited look at my phone usage from an entire week and my takeaways.


The top figure shows my phone usage throughout the day, with each line on the x-axis representing one day and the y-axis representing time of day. The size of each point corresponds to the time spent on phone. The bottom table summarizes the total hours spent each day, top apps used and number of times my phone was picked up throughout the day. I’m not sure how the app defines a “pick-up”, because the number of pick-ups is more than the number of dots in the top figure. And lastly, the table also includes the median number of minutes spent on my phone each time I picked it up.

No one would dispute that smart phones have changed our lives in a big way. In fact, the other day Aaron and I were talking about the impact of smart phones/social media on our lives and how it can play too big a role in our day to day existence. When we brush our teeth at night, we’re usually watching CNET update (perfect length of time for brushing, flossing and rinsing!) or I’m scrolling through my RSS feed. And when I have to wait in line it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’m passing the time on Instagram or Pinterest. But seeing exactly how much time I spend on my phone every day has been an interesting experience. I was shocked (almost appalled) that I racked up over 5 hours of usage on the first day. Even though most interactions range between 3-6 minutes, it’s still amazing that hours can be accumulated over the course of a day.

Moment App:

If you are ready to see your phone usage, the moment app is free with an optional pro upgrade that opens up some additional (albeit pretty cool) features. I used the free version. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Download the app
  • Go to settings in the Moments app and select “Phone Use Detection”. Toggle the switch to the “on” position.
  • Go to settings in the Moments app and select “App Use Detection”. Toggle the switch to the “on” position.
  • The app will prompt you once a day (usually in the morning) to take a screenshot of your battery usage. Go to your iPhone settings and select “Battery”. Scroll up so you can see as many apps as possible (see picture below right). Take a screenshot by pressing the power button on your iPhone and the home button at the same time. That’s all your have to do.

How much time do you spend on your phone?

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