My dreadful iPhone screen time stats

When Apple introduced the screen time monitoring stats on the iPhone, at first I resisted for a month or so. I always wait until the last possible minute to upgrade because I don’t like my technology to change!

When I received my first week’s usage, I was horrified.

A few notes and insights, if you’re interested:

  • My time usage per day averaged about 5 hours a day with most of that time being spent on… Instagram.
  • I knew that I received many notifications daily. It turns out that number was 90 a day. WhatsApp notifications were more than double the next category, my calendar. I have no problem with my calendar notifying me because all of those notifications are self-imposed and, as you’ve read in my upholder posts, I use scheduling to basically run my life. The remainder of my notifications are all useful.
  •  Turns out I pick my phone up on average 100 times a day. That’s terrible. When you break it down it’s about 8 times an hour which is still bad, but then when I see that the two apps I use after I pick up my phone are WhatsApp (probably things I want to see) and podcasts (stopping, rewinding, looking for the next, etc.), that sounds about right, and not something I’m going to change very much.
  • This leads us to my most used apps – Instagram, Podcasts and WhatsApp. All consistent with what I said above. The thing is Instagram wins by a huge margin. A whopping 53% of all my screentime is spent on Instagram. Granted, I manage two accounts and post stories and so on, but still. Those 20 hours a week could have been spent reading 2 – 3 extra books.


Immediately afterwards, I decided to do what I could to reduce those hours.

  • I got into a good habit of closing apps immediately after using them. That helped a lot and reduced the phone usage down to high 3 hours – low 4 hours a day.
  • I was very conscious of all my social media time especially after I put a 1-hour limit on social media. Every single day of my life I exceed this limit (except when on holidays) but every time I tap “ignore for 15 minutes” I’m conscious that I’m now choosing to ignore my own self-imposed limits. #upholder
  • My pickups are now 60 a day after I turned off my Instagram notifications. I now also mute WhatsApp groups if I don’t need to hear all the chatter, which is most of the time.

What’s happening currently?

  • I still veer between an average of 4 and 5 hours of phone usage a day. In the weeks when I post a lot of talking stories on Instagram vs just pictures, my phone usage shoots up but that is not a true reflection as my upload time is super slow and I have to leave Instagram open and on stories to upload.
  • My lowest weekly stats ever have been when we’ve been on holiday and that’s because I’m reading a lot and there’s no wifi 🙂 In that week I only used my phone for podcasts while getting ready in the mornings, and while cooking, and to take photos and send the occasional photos to family. I averaged 2 hours that week and I was very, very proud of that 🙂 It’s nice to know I can use my phone less even if forced to do so through no wifi.

What’s next?

I’m still interested in reducing my phone usage in theory but the only app I really have a problem with is Instagram. I grab and scroll when I’m lazy or while I’m waiting for the kettle to boil, or while I’m thinking about an email… Mindless scrolling is so easy on Instagram.

I think I need to turn on my Downtime and make sure I adhere to it. It’s about getting more disciplined with Instagram, like posting my own photos early in the day, only checking at lunch quickly and then again quickly at night. Exactly as I do with email. It’s not like I do much of a “curated feed” so it should be easy to do once I decide what I want and how I will approach it.

We’re going on holiday in about 3 weeks which I think is the perfect time to break my bad Instagram habits.

Have any of you drastically reduced your Instagram or Screen Time usage? Please share your tips and tricks.

PS please note that I have no Facebook or Twitter usage. I feel very happy that I only have one vice 😉




My life in Instagrams – May


Beautiful winter sunsets, my favourite colour in winter, and maths for fun


Deciding on a grey, rock painting and pretty notebooks


Winter = reading, sunsets, snuggling and lots of tea


I can’t get enough of beautiful winter light! Gifts from the kids and lots of tea!


handmade jewellery from a friend, my first Burger King burger (in South Africa), beautiful morning light and a 5-year-old that suddenly looks like a teenager 😮

My life in Instagrams – March

The fact that I’m posting my old Instagrams here every two weeks is a great motivator for me.

What could you do to make yourself accountable so that you can get something done you really want to… but just need a little push to do?

2015 March IG

The weather started cooling just a bit… tea, baking bread….

2015 March IG-001

Hairdresser time, books I bought for a library project and cute kids 🙂

2015 March IG-002

One year of doing Spanish the second time around, tea, traffic and my first movie with the kids!

2015 March IG-003

I love doors so I started a little project where I’m officially collecting photos of doors, potato pancakes and lift selfies 🙂

2015 March IG-004

Making house lists, autumn is here, cooking with Connor

2015 March IG-005

New favourite nail polish (Rimmel Jazz Funk), disturbed sleep and the start of our holiday (pancakes in Graskop)

{Personal} Instagram photos for Jan

Good thing I made my photo projects list because that was just the kick-in-the-butt I needed to get going:

Without further ado, here is a selection of photos from January this year. It’s so funny to see all of us in swimming costumes and sleeveless clothes 🙂

My life in Instagrams |

That’s Connor’s notes on the top left, and top right, the 2015 goals-planning session 🙂

Bottom right - half birthday gifts :)

Bottom right – half birthday gifts 🙂

Top right = applying for a renewal driver's licence...

Top right = applying for a renewal driver’s licence…

Lunch with a friend, half birthday party and a full Zumba class because it's January

Lunch with a friend, half birthday party and a full Zumba class because it’s January

First day of school and Spanish, and making wraps!

First day of school and Spanish, and making wraps!

Preparing for the Let's do This workshop, and gifts!

Preparing for the Let’s do This workshop, and gifts!

Desire-mapping, business planning and 52 letters in 2015

Desire-mapping, business planning and 52 letters in 2015

Did you enjoy seeing these snippets?

PS I’m @marcia0608 and as of this afternoon, @organisingqueen on Instagram

{Time management} The Instagram time suck

This is my year of enough.


I’ve said often we have enough time for all the things we really want to do and I’ll be writing periodically about ways I bring enough time to my own life.

Post 1 – email on the phone

Post 2 – why we’re all not reading enough

This is post 3 – Instagram

Before, I felt a need to see every single pretty picture of all the people I follow on Instagram.

Not quite that bad, but close.

However, Instagram is as much a rabbit hole as Facebook, blogs, etc.

I love it dearly but I’ve set myself a few rules (I like rules for myself) that I’m sticking to about 98% of the time:

 Instagram |

1. I contribute content before I consume it

That means, if I go onto Instagram, it should be to first post my own photos before I start scrolling away.

2. I connect as I consume

It’s not good enough for me to just scroll aimlessly, so I “like” other people’s photos, leave comments and generally use it as a place to connect.

After I post my photo, I check my “news” to see if anyone’s commented on any of my photos that I need to answer. Confession – I’m not great at this yet unless it’s a comment that needs a proper answer.

3. It’s okay if I don’t see everything

I generally give myself 5 – 10 minutes at a time and if I don’t see everyone’s photos, that’s just fine. Strangely, I don’t feel like I’m missing out because I remember the things I want to do in my real life 🙂 and I’m actually asking myself a favourite question of mine, what is the most important use of my time right now?

4. I tell myself this important sentence

“Everybody else dips in and out of your feed; you can do the same” 😉



Instagram |

Since I started sticking to my rules, I have more time (duh!) and some days I honestly forget about my phone in my handbag for 5 – 6 hours at a stretch.

It’s totally working!

Do you have rules or policies for your Instagram usage?

Do you find it hard to stay off Instagram, or do you have another social media vice?

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