To track my habits, I downloaded an app called Sense. It is a very simple interface and setting it us just requires you to allow it to access your social media. The free version of the app show how much time you spend total for the day on  Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but if you look at it the day of, it breaks this down per app.

After tracking my usage, I was honestly surprised. I figured I would have been on social media much more than I was. I think the trend makes sense, though, since I used it less during the week due to class and working, but I used it a lot more on the weekends. The one app this did not track was Snapchat, which probably would have raised my daily total a little bit, but not enough to meet the averages I found while doing research.

The app puts together this nice little bar graph to show your past week and total minutes for each day. It shows the total for the current day for each individual app.

If you want to pay for more features, you can get more detailed results and see your full history, not just the past week. You can also set limits for how much social media you let yourself use in a day, which I feel could be very helpful if you need a little extra boost to keep focused on something else you need to be doing.

Features you can add to the app with an upgrade.

When I did some research, I found the results I expected to have myself. The average American uses social media for about 4.7 hours every day (source). This was even higher in college students, who are found to be on their phone for 8 to 10 hours per day (source).

I’m curious to see what my totals will be once school is out for the year, so I will probably keep the app and check it periodically to compare my usage to what it was while during the semester.

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