At the end of a long workday, it’s comforting to curl up on the couch and scroll mindlessly on our phones, even if our eyes are burning from staring at a screen all day.

It’s a habit that many of us share. It seems almost impossible to go without our phones, but in a world that is so desperately trying to stay connected, this habit has a way of creating distance in relationships.

If you feel like your screen time on your tech devices has gotten out of hand, there are a few iPhone hacks that may improve your quality of life and your relationships.

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I Realized I Needed to Make a Change

From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, my phone is no more than a few feet away from me. Whether I'm reading emails or checking social media, it’s almost involuntary for me to grab my phone and start scrolling.

One night at dinner, I found myself traveling down the rabbit hole of TikTok. When I looked up, my husband was also on his phone, zoned into fantasy football while both of our dinners were getting cold.

I thought to myself, “Enough is enough.”

We’ve tried the lock box before, but truthfully, it was a little extreme, so we took a dive into app settings.

Monitoring Your Screen Time

Introduced in 2018 (and yes, I'm just noticing now), iPhone unveiled a “Screen Time” option that allows users to take control of the time they spend on their devices, from providing data on which apps are frequented the most to offering a “Do Not Disturb” alert for a certain time period.

But I was most interested in the “Downtime” feature.

The Downtime Feature

This feature allows you to block apps and notifications on your iPhone to help you detach. You can schedule it every day for a specific time period or customize your days with different time periods.

For instance, my husband and I have our downtime set from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Access to social media and any other app we see fit will not be able to open until 5 a.m. Of course, there is an override feature, but the guilt of pressing “Ignore” is enough to keep me locked out until the time is up.

Maddie Levine/Townsquare Media
Maddie Levine/Townsquare Media

Parents, this is a perfect feature for you. As the primary carrier, this feature allows you to set downtimes on your children’s phones.

No more late-night gaming or messaging for them.

If you’re like me and need some assistance in stepping away from technology, this might be the perfect hack for you.

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