Increasing iPhone addiction is ruining our free time

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Gaming on iPhone XS
Could you just put the phone down for a while?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

There’s a good chance you’re looking at your iPhone more than ever before. A new study shows that it’s dozens of times every day. Which really isn’t a good thing.

Especially as another study has found that iPhone usage can ruin your vacation.

Screen Time flaw lets kids use Safari without limitations

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iOS 12's new Screen Time feature isn't a panacea for good parenting. Even small children can find workarounds.
Screen Time is a great concept. But it's got its weaknesses.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iOS 12’s Screen Time feature is a great way of making sure that people, particularly children, don’t spend too long using their iOS devices. That’s an important goal, whether you’re worried about the potential mental health impact of overusing technology or just want to stop your kids wasting their time on social media.

It turns out that there’s a workaround on Safari, however — as discovered by the eldest son of computer security expert and iOS hacker David Schuetz.

How to stop yourself wasting time on Twitter and Facebook

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twitter bird screen time metaphor
This little birds is an easy metaphor for wasting time on Twitter.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Today’s tip uses iOS 12’s Screen Time feature to stop yourself from wasting your life on Twitter and/or Facebook (or any other app or website). Maybe you obsess over a golfing forum, or you have a Fortnite habit you just can’t shake.

If so, Screen Time can protect you from yourself. Let’s see how.

Shocker! Clever kids find ways around Screen Time restrictions

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iOS 12's new Screen Time feature isn't a panacea for good parenting. Even small children can find workarounds.
iOS 12's new Screen Time feature isn't a panacea for good parenting. Even small children can find workarounds.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iOS 12’s Screen Time feature lets parents monitor and limit how much time their children spend on their iPhone and iPad. It should surprise no one that smart kids with lots of free time have found ways to circumvent the limits.

This is only the first version of Screen Time, and Apple will likely close these loopholes in future updates.

iOS 12 Screen Time weans teen off Snapchat, slowly but surely

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Screen Time
Screen Time helped one teen fight iPhone addiction.
Photo: Apple

Parents, worried their iPhone-carrying kids are addicted to their screens, likely rejoiced when iOS 12 was announced with a new feature that monitors screen time and allows users to set time limits.

Childless yet eager to test the feature, New York Times tech reporter Brian X. Chen borrowed a kid from an editor for a near-month-long test run of Screen Time – and it worked.

Conan hilariously skewers iOS 12’s Screen Time feature

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Conan
No distractions here!
Photo: Conan

At Monday’s WWDC keynote event, Apple introduced its new Screen Time initiatives which will help users keep tabs on just how much they use their iPhones. It’s something that people have been pushing for a while, and it’s absolutely the right move on Apple’s part.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be the source of humor. In a new skit, late night talkshow host Conan O’Brien skewers the concept with his idea for an iPhone Basic — with no screen, no buttons, and basically nothing that could distract you from living in the real world. Check it out below.