What’s your number?

Find out how much you are really using your phone.

In NZ, we now spend an average of 18 hours per week on our devices, but most people really have no idea how long they spend on their smartphone.

I decided to find out, and was kind of horrified to find I was using over 25 hours per week. I thought I was using my phone a fair bit, but wouldn’t have thought I was that far over the average.

There is a natural resistance to actually finding out the truth about how much time we are pouring into our screens – It’s a bit like tallying up how much alcohol we drink – It’s often something we’d rather not actually know.

That said, if we want to adjust our behavior, the first step is facing up to what it really is we are doing.

If you’re brave enough.  I invite you tense yourself, and find out for real what your usage number is:

Android Phones

I have tried and tested just about every usage monitoring app on the Play store, and by far the best is Focustrack.In.   This app is free, small and requires only access to usage permissions on your phone.

focusttrack screens

It gives you a breakdown of your usage by day, week and month (with the ability to look at previous days, weeks and months). 

It also shows you which apps you are using the most.

The app can be downloaded here.




iPhones now come in with a built in Screentime monitor. Setting it up is pretty straightforward: 

Go to settings

  1. Scroll to ‘Screen Time’ and tap it. (Once you’ve enabled it, you’ll see your Screen Time reports)
  2. Tap ‘Turn on Screen Time’
  3. Tap ‘Continue’
  4. Tap ‘This is my iPhone’

That’s it! Now you’ve enabled usage tracking, you can keep track of how much you are really using your phone.

Who is brave enough to screenshot their weekly usage and post it? Not me.. someone else..


The BoringPhone is a minimalist smartphone with all the useful stuff, but none of the distracting stuff.

It has the essential smartphone tools that we’ve come to rely on: Calling, texting, a camera, maps, music, podcasts and more.

The key difference is what the BoringPhone doesn’t have: No social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram), no browser and no email — and no way to install them.

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