Earlier today, former Apple employee Tony Fadell, the “father of the iPod”, called for Apple to take action to create awareness around unhealthy levels of iPhone usage. He compared the focus we (and our government) place on healthy eating and nutrition to the lack of information we have around digital nourishment.
His request: more accessible data
His mission: a healthy, moderate digital life
“I believe that for Apple to maintain and even grow its customer base it can solve this problem at the platform level, by empowering users to understand more about how they use their devices. To do this, it should let people track their digital activity in detail and across all devices.”
Currently, there are roadblocks in measuring smartphone usage.
A few different apps have found unique workarounds to measure both phone and screen time pretty accurately.
One of them I have been using since last week is Moment. The app uses screenshots of battery activity (taken daily or weekly) to measure how much time is being spent on each app and then creates a digestible report.
I am not interested in setting daily limits or forcing myself off my device.
However, I am always interested in optimizing communication and balancing in-person, phone, and email to create healthier, emotionally present connections. In order to do so, it’s important to know how much time I am spending on my phone.
I am hoping Moment does the trick, but I agree with Tony – It shouldn’t require a user to take a screenshot of battery usage daily to figure out how I am spending time on my device.
I am aware using my phone constantly is a choice… But that doesn’t mean it is not actually addicting. Similar to many of us, I am addicted to my phone and would like Apple (and other smartphone companies) to take steps to help those who suffer from this addiction gain awareness into our habits.
I agree with Tony’s sentiment – If Apple took the step to enable usage measurement across all their devices, I would be more likely to stay loyal to their products.