Digital Wellbeing Update

Getting to know Screen Time and stronger parental controls on the iPhone

Apple’s latest operating system update ios12, features a focus on their users’ digital wellbeing. One of the biggest changes in this update is the ability for users to see how much time they spend on their device throughout the day.  Installation of the latest update will allow users to access the tools needed to help tame their desire to always be ‘connected’, by tracking just how much time that user spends within each application of their device. In order to access such a feature, the latest operating system must first be installed over Wi-Fi, then through the phone’s settings application, “Screen Time” can be accessed. Within the “Screen Time” feature, users will find a breakdown that indicates how much time has been spent on the device and devices linked to the iCloud account.

Parents, this is a revolutionary tool, not only for your children and our students here at Bethany, but for yourselves. “Screen Time” is Apple’s strategic social response to the technology they have created, but ultimately the responsibility is in the hands of the user. In the next update Apple plan to break down how often a user picks up their phone, which applications they use the most and how many notifications a user receives on a per-application basis.

The feature will allow parents to take control of their children’s devices by locking certain applications with a parent passcode, as well as limiting their child’s usage. For example, you can limit your child’s social networking to just an hour or so a day via the “Screen Time” feature. As we enter into a time where the Minister for Education is advocating for an inquiry into phone use in schools, as well as the plethora of research supporting parents’ and teachers’ concerns about technology distracting from schoolwork, Apple’s “Screen Time” should be seen as an essential tool in every parents arsenal. For those who have non Apple devices, Android and Google will soon roll out similar digital wellbeing strategies in 2019.


Theresa Chisari

Assistant Year 8 Coordinator