It's common to reassess your habits in January and I think one thing the vast majority of us could do with changing is how much time we spend mindlessly scrolling through social media.
Luckily, Apple has plenty of great Screen Time settings these days (head to Settings > Screen Time) that help you to get a better handle on the way you use your favorite apps. But if you want to make some major changes, it might be worth downloading a third-party app that brings you even more features.
Think of the One Sec app like Apple's Screen Time settings, but with more customization options and features, bringing you even more ways to regain control over your digital life. It's available on Mac, iPhone and iPad, which means you can keep tabs on your social media use and add new interventions across all of your Apple devices.
How is One Sec different to Screen Time settings?
One Sec says that people who use social media regularly can use the app to reclaim an hour each day that they'd usually have spent scrolling. This sounds like a lot, but if you've ever delved into your Screen Time settings, you'll see how time spent opening and closing Instagram, X and TikTok quickly adds up.
You'll find a lot of standard app-blocking, app-restricting and timer-based options here. But some of my favorite settings within One Sec involve deciding on the little tasks you need to carry out to access an app, like rotating your phone several times, taking deep breaths, staring at a blank screen for 10 seconds and even looking at yourself with your iPhone's front-facing selfie camera.
The purpose of these interventions is to get you thinking about what you're doing, adding awareness to your social media use and, hopefully, breaking that mindless, sleepwalking cycle.
Sure, sometimes you might still choose to open the app. But I find that at least 50 percent of the time when I'm using One Sec I do ask myself: did I really want to open TikTok? This simple act of reflection can disrupt the most ingrained social media habits and, over time, could help you develop a more intentional and mindful approach to the way you use your phone.
The One Sec app is free to trial for a week, which is a decent amount of time to figure out if its features work well for you. After that, you'll need to pay $1.99/£1.99 a month or $12.99/£12.99 a year (this works out at about $1.07/£1.07 a month).
Yes, Screen Time settings are already more than enough for most people. But if you want to add some extra oomph to your "cutting down on doomscrolling" resolution in 2024, then One Sec could be worth it.
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Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.