Recently Apple updated its software to include a new feature called screentime. It is a powerful new feature that tracks how much you use different apps. What is great is you can use screentime to limit screen use of your phone. Screentime (click this word to go to Apple’s website) can be a powerful tool for reducing the amount of blue light that comes into your eyes daily. What I do myself is I turn on downtime at night to force myself to put my phone down at night.
So what does this all have to do with Lent? During Lent we are called to fast, pray and give alms. Why not use screen time to help you with this endeavor. If you have a problem of looking at your phone before going to bed, set your phone to downtime 30 minutes before bed. If you get distracted by your phone in the morning have downtime end after the time you should be getting up. For example, say your workday starts at, and you want to exercise, eat breakfast and pray. You want to wake up at 5:30 am to go exercise. However, that phone is so tempting in the morning that you spend 30 minutes wasting time on Instagram and Snapchat. For Lent why not schedule downtime till 8 am when you usually leave for work. That means you can’t check your phone until you get to work.
You can get around the blocks pretty straightforward; however, you can set up a passcode that you must enter to use certain apps that you blocked during certain times. If you don’t have enough self-control let someone else do it for you!
Finally, screen time can limit certain apps to use. Do you play Candy Crush for 3 hours a day? Use screen time to block all games after playing for 30 minutes.
Phones are a powerful tool but sometimes too can be a great distraction from our prayer lives and what we set out to do. Apple has given us a way to fight against this distraction.
Some other ideas for Lent and your phone.
Don’t like the screen time Idea think about doing this.
Delete all social media apps from your phone, if you use snap chat ask people to text you or call you instead.
Delete all streaming apps from your phone, read scripture or a spiritual book instead!
Delete all games from your phone.
So many other possibilities!
Note to Android users I’m not sure how to do this on your platform, but I’m sure there is a way!