12 Ingenious iOS Screen Time Hacks (and how to beat them!)

12 iOS Screen Time Hacks

12 Ingenious iOS Screen Time Hacks (and how to beat them!)

When it comes to getting more screen time, the creativity of kids goes up by a power of 100. Outsmarting parents at every turn! Not today. We’ll explain 12 Screen Time hacks FROM THE KIDS, and then provide steps for beating the hackers.

Parents are more concerned than ever about how their kids use technology. Many blog posts explain risks related to excessive screen time, online predators, and exposure to graphic, sexualized content.

With the release of iOS 12 in 2018, Apple sought to assuage parents’ digital concerns with the release of Screen Time. For some families, Screen Time has been helpful. As it pertains to preventing explicit content in Safari and other hidden browsers, Screen Time’s Content & Privacy Restrictions does a decent job.

But when it comes to actually controlling SCREEN TIME, the Screen Time feature has been hacked numerous ways by motivated, clever, downright prodigious teens who will not be thwarted from using their precious iPhones.

Here are 12 Screen Time hacks and our very best ideas for stopping them. 


1. My kid is changing the time zone in Settings in order to evade Downtime.

Give your kid a high five for this smart hack. Nice. Then, remind them that you’re smarter. Find your old report card if you have to. Next…

  1. Grab your kid’s iPhone.
  2. If Screen Time is enabled, you’ll need to disable it for these steps.
  3. Go to Settings -> General -> Date & Time -> toggle on “Set Automatically.”
  4. Go back to Screen Time. Enable Screen Time. **Important – don’t forget to also tap “Use Screen Time Passcode.” Set the 4-digit code. Don’t forget it. Don’t tell your kids!
  5. Tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions” and toggle them on at the top.
  6. Further down tap “Location Services.”
  7. Go all the way down to “System Services.”
  8. Ensure that “Setting Time Zone” is toggled on. Tap “Back.”
  9. At the top of the Location Services screen, check “Don’t Allow Changes.” After you do this, if you scroll down on the screen, you sill see everything greyed out except System Services. But if you tap it, you’ll then see that “Setting Time Zone” is greyed out, which is what we want.
  10. If you go back out to “Settings,” then “General,” and then “Date & Time,” you’ll now see that it’s greyed out and can’t be changed.

2. Even though the YouTube App is gone, my kid is still watching YouTube videos through iMessage.

So clever! But easy to squash this Screen Time hack.

  1. Screen Time -> Content & Privacy Restrictions -> Content Restrictions -> enter passcode -> Web Content.
  2. Check “Limit Adult Websites.”
  3. **This is the key. Under “NEVER ALLOW” you have to type in the following web address exactly like this: https://www.youtube.com
  4. Then, back out from there. If you miss one character in the URL above, it won’t work.
  5. Some parents have also noted that if App Limits or Downtime have been reached for the YouTube app, then a kid can also continue perusing YouTube videos through the iMessage widget (if you’re not sure what the “iMessage widget” is see the image below). This is true. Therefore, if this is being abused, you will need to remove the iMessage app from the “Always Allowed” list. Screen Time -> Always Allowed -> then remove it from Allowed Apps by tappining the red circle with the white minus sign.

iMessage Widget

3. My kid figured out my 4-digit passcode. 

Pick a harder code. Seriously. They may be lurking over your shoulder when you type it in, or looking at the reflection from your glasses. I’m not making this stuff up! They hunt for screen time like starving hyenas.

4. My kid enabled screen recording in order to figure out my 4-digit passcode.

Now, that’s smart. Look for the red recording dot at the top of the screen. If you find that they’re using it to get the passcode, it’s time for a really good “let’s chat” moment. If it’s a trick they try again, and you decide that disabling screen recording is the only move, then here’s what you can do:

  1. On your kid’s iPhone, Screen Time -> Content & Privacy Restrictions -> Content Restrictions -> then scroll down to the bottom.
  2. Tap “Screen Recording” and check “Don’t Allow.”
  3. Or, if you want to keep it enabled, just look for the red, recording dot at the top of the device when you go to type in the passcode. If you see it, throw them in mommy-prison. Busted!

5. I have set App Limits, but my kid can keep using the apps after the limit is reached!

One toggle makes all the difference. You can do this!

  1. On your kid’s iPhone, Screen Time -> App Limits -> Add Limit.
  2. Then, select the category or individual app (if using iOS 13) you want to limit. Tap “Next.”
  3. Set your time limit, and **this is the key,** make sure “Block at End of Limit” is toggled on. See the image below.

Screen Time Hacks - Protect Young Eyes

6. My kid found software for his MacBook or PC that allowed him to “hack” the 4-digit, Screen Time passcode.

Yes, this has been an issue. We’ve written a whole blog post about this one. You can stop it, but it’s not easy.

7. My kid did a factory reset of the phone in order to get around Screen Time. 

This is the most drastic step. If a kid is using their own Apple ID (since they would have to type it back in once the phone reboots) there’s not much you can do to stop this hack.

Be observant! If you’re monitoring their usage through Screen Time on your phone, you would notice a significant decrease in usage if a reset had occurred (since Screen Time would no longer be tracking usage).

If a kid is willing to factory reset their phone for more access, then there are greater issues to deal with. I might argue the kid isn’t mature enough for an internet-ready, portable device of their own.

8. My kid is using Siri to send text messages when I have iMessage turned off during Downtime or App Limits have been reached.

First, figure out what is so important that your kid is doing this in the first place. Who knows what you might discover about your kid! If you determine that with repeated use of this hack, even if you’ve told him/her that during certain times they’re not supposed to be texting, you can do the following to turn off Siri. Fun fact – I met the woman who was the original voice of Siri!

  1. On your kid’s iPhone, Screen Time -> Content & Privacy Restrictions -> enter your 4-digit Screen Time passcode.
  2. Tap “Allowed Apps” and then Toggle off “Siri & Dictation.”

9. After Downtime enables, my kid takes a screenshot, and uses the picture to select “send” and a secret iMessage portal comes up.

Wow. We have to marvel at their creativity. If they could only apply this same grit and stamina to algebra. Friends, this is one of the few that we can’t prevent. You can monitor for it with a service like Bark, which can give parents “after-the-fact” insight into iMessage (texting) activity. Have you heard of Bark?

Learn more about Bark – the best social monitoring app we’ve seen!

Bark Parental Controls

10. Once App Limits have been reached, my kid just deletes the app, and then re-downloads the app from iCloud WITHOUT Family Sharing permission, which allows them to continue playing.

Don’t we all wish Apple would allow us to permanently delete apps from a child’s Apple ID? First, it’s time for a curious conversation about what it is about this app that they’ve re-downloaded that they can’t live without. Listen to what they have to say and you might learn something new. If then you tell them, “Hey, I don’t want you doing that” and they continue, then you might need to turn off the ability to delete apps.

  1. Content & Privacy Restrictions -> iTunes & App Store Purchases -> type in your 4-digit Screen Time passcode.
  2. You might consider making all 3 choices read “Don’t Allow” per the screen shot below.

Screen Time Hacks - Protect Young Eyes

11. After my kid reaches App Limits, he can still access iMessage (texting) by swiping down, tapping any iMessage notification, and BOOM, he’s sending a text message to friends!

The only fix we can come up with is tedious. It requires you to access the device immediately before Downtime begins. Swipe down on the phone, reveal the notifications panel, and then clear out the notifications before Downtime kicks in.

12. My kid is getting around App Limits on texting (iMessage) by going to the Contacts app. From there, they can share a contact via text, and iMessage comes back up!

There’s a general frustration felt by all iOS Screen Time parents about the continued lack of iMessage parental controls. Here’s how to stop this Screen Time hack by turning off the Contacts app:

  1. On your kid’s iPhone, Screen Time -> App Limits -> enter your 4-digit Screen Time passcode.
  2. Select “Productivity” and then the Contacts app. Tap “Next” in the upper, right corner.
  3. On the next page, give the Contacts app a really low time, like 1-minute (the minimum allowable by Apple) so that the limit is reached quickly.
  4. If you go back to the home screen where the app is, it should be greyed out after that 1 minute.

And, there you have it! We’re sure there are more Screen Time hacks, but these are some of the more significant ones that parents have mentioned. I’ll never understand why Apple doesn’t hire 10 junior high kids to test their products. Give them each a free iPhone, and they’ll do anything.

There are many other toggles that need to be set in Screen Time. iOS 13 also has new settings (iOS 13 started rolling out on Sept. 19). If you want to learn more about iOS 13, we’ve written about every toggle that matters.

Read the iOS 13 Blog Post

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67 thoughts on “12 Ingenious iOS Screen Time Hacks (and how to beat them!)”

  1. Okay I’m feeling a little dumb…I have “block at end of limit” toggled on, but it seems like she STILL is able to access everything past app limits. I don’t know if she’s getting to things through Safari, but even that is set to just 1 minute and blocked at the end of the limit (although she uses it for way longer than 1 minute every day). I have All Apps & Categories set to just one hour, to limit her use to an hour, and Block at End of Limit toggled on, but somehow, she is still on her phone for HOURS. I also have Downtime set up for pretty much ALL DAY (as a way to remove all access except phone calls/texts when she’s grounded from technology), but she’s still accessing everything. I used to think I was pretty tech savvy, and clearly, I am not.

  2. You might ask her if she’s doing anything special. Like maybe using a different Apple ID than the one that is set up through Family Sharing and Screen Time? If you haven’t locked “Account Changes” under Content & Privacy Restrictions, then anyone can remove the Apple ID and get around everything you’ve set up. Maybe give that a try!


  3. everything in this article… and it’s not my middle schoolers who are bypassing but my 3rd and 5th graders hahahah

  4. So easy to disable screen time without any of those methods
    I coded a .mobileconfig File that when installed disabled screen time
    Watcha gonna do bout that

  5. Hi Chris,

    My son has found a way to access anything on the internet by going thru the Settings app, which I can’t place a limit on. No other reason for him to spend that many hours in that app. Any thoughts on how to restrict that one?

  6. Matthew Milunic

    I usually use quite a few of these, but you did miss one. In later versions of iOS that came before iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 if you go into Safari, YouTube and get into fullscreen before the time out screen appears you can stay in full screen.

  7. fun fact: Susan Bennet has not been the voice of Siri for quite some time now – it‘s now computer-generated

  8. One trick my kid has used to watch video (in, say, Safari) is to hit play and quickly tap the icon for full screen video. Then the Screen Time screen pops up “behind” the video. As long as he doesn’t come out of full screen, he can watch as much video as he likes.

  9. We don’t set time limits through the phone and expect it to work. If we communicate a hard rule and it is broken, our son will lose his phone for at least a week. So if he plays his phone or uses it at all after the time we have set as the limit, he loses his phone. How do we know? We check “battery usage” in the morning. You can see if his phone was used during the night at all. Obviously we have limits on adult content as well. We also sometimes just ask that he “turn it in” to us at the allotted time, which is the best way to ensure he isn’t on it. I don’t trust Apple to do my job for me as a parent.

  10. i have 2 questions. 1) when my daughter’s screen time kicks in, grays the app. there is an option to extend the limit by 1 min, etc… how can i remove this. she is constantly extending it. 2) i go to settings th change the screen time password, i input thw new number, and appears to set. however, when i got back to check it, it does take it and the old one is still active. what am i doing wrong.

  11. My kid was sending imessages and texts through games. He would select share score or something similar and a message would pop up, delete the content and type whatever he wanted.

  12. Did the contacts time lock and when you access the phone app and select contacts you can still share them through that app so an iMessage will still pop up.

  13. Hi – wow, that’s a good one that we were not aware of. And it doesn’t look like you can turn off the phone app under “Always Allow,” which means I don’t think there’s a way to beat this one. The lack of iMessage controls is so frustrating. I’m hoping this article will shine a bright light on this so that Apple does something.

    Best to you!

  14. For your #1, I bet it’s because you need to set the toggle in our hack #5 in the blog post. For #2, I have found that Screen Time in iOS 13 is fickle about changing the Screen Time passcode. The only way to fix this that I’ve found is to completely shut off Screen Time, then toggle it back on and set the new passcode. This is a complete pain because it forces you to reset all of the other Screen Time settings. I plan to call Apple about this one to get their attention on it.

    Best to you!

  15. That’s a good one – I was not aware of that one and I’ll add it to the list that I bring to Apple’s attention from time to time. Those ingenious kids!

  16. Smart! Well done. There are ways to stop that with a profile + password, but I’m guessing your parents might not want to spend time figuring that out, and I’m guessing you’re the type of kid who would just use a different device or get around it another way. If that’s true, just be careful. The internet is bigger and more insidious that you can handle if you’re not careful. I don’t suggest these controls because I don’t trust kids like you. I suggest them because I’ve seen darkness and evil online that you can’t fathom.


  17. My kids already knew about most of these, but no one is mentioning this: I have reported the Facetime screen time bypass to Apple 4 times now since IOS 12 was released. Once Screen Time is enabled and you can lock down every app (except the phone app of course)… my 11 year old daughter figured out that she can go into her Phone app recent history and click on any Facetime call she made previously and it will dial that contact in Facetime, although the actual Facetime App is completely locked on the home screen. Apple’s latest message to me was they were aware of this bypass and no solution in sight. Incredible! $1 Trillion dollar company with brilliant engineers and get owned by an 11 year old. Amazing!

  18. I have another one for you to add to your list! I’m not a parent, but I filed this bug with Apple a few months ago, and it’s been ignored.

    If you set up a website to have content restrictions on a website, you can nonetheless right-click a link to that page in Safari, and download the webpage. Then you can view it offline, absent the content restriction. For most static websites, this does the trick pretty well. All you would need to do is Google search for the site you’re looking to bypass restrictions for, and then download the page.

    Hope you can get this loophole (and the others mentioned above) to the right place!

  19. I do IT for a living. So tech solutions I’m quite familiar with…

    One ingenious parenting solution to all of these (and future) hacks: “If I catch you doing any of this sh!#$%@#$t then I will ground you from your phone for a day/week/month”


    I don’t monitor my kiddos use — I let them know what the expectations are, what the consequences will be, and then enforce them when a problem occurs. Basic kiddo/employee/pet managment.

  20. I’ve tried everything to block WhatsApp during downtime but it won’t grey out!,!,!,!,!?.?.

    Tried making sure it’s not on the always allow list.
    Added a time limit of 1min for all apps.
    Updated to latest software.
    Reset phone.
    Deleted app and reinstalled it.

    Every other restriction works but WhatsApp doesn’t?

    Anyone have some ideas?

  21. I don’t believe any child should have access to the internet without direct and actively attentive parental supervision. Don’t buy your child a smart phone, but them a flip phone for calls and txt’s, and take it away when it’s time. The Electro-Magnetic Radiation produced by your phone is shown to cause harm on a cellular level and increase risk of certain cancers. One study that I read showed a 40% increase chance of some kinds of brain cancer after 10 years of cell phone use where the phone is held up to the ear. Until the data is gathered, assessed and made sense of by an independent 3rd party (not working for the communications industry or some other nonsensical conflict of interest), I don’t think children should have cell phones. And with teenagers especially: it WILL become a mobile porn viewing device covered in nasty….why even go there? Teach your children to maintain themselves during this developmentally critical time of their lives and talk with them yourself, don’t leave it up to the smart phone. And when your child is using technology, you should be able to see their screen at all times. I got away with more than anyone could have guessed when I was a teen, and a tech savvy teen at that. Now as an adult, I see how it has affected my life and had I known or had my parents been aware of my sneakiness, all I can say is that it wasn’t worth it and now I have shit I’ve got to work through so I can lead a normal life. And by normal, I mean even seemingly simple stuff like treating women with respect.

  22. I have an iPhone 7, and my son has an iPhone 6. So my phone is on iOS 13, and his is iOS 12.

    Also having problems with being able to bypass downtime with the “one more minute” feature popping up, or being able to respond via the notifications center.

    Separately, I’ve turned off notifications for iMessage and emails – and I have myself as the “emergency contact” – which will break through if the phone is in “do not disturb” – but is there a way that texts from myself can be sent as notifications to him, but texts or emails from others will not…?

  23. My kid has discovered that his Safari history isn’t recorded if he opens a link from Google Docs on his iPad. If he wants to browse without an audit trail (even with all the Screen Time controls properly configured) AND have his Screen Time report show that time as Google Docs / Productivity app usage, rather than Safari / web site time, he’s all set.

    I contacted Apple Support about this, and because I provided technical detail referring to the use of SFSafariViewController (the Safari component Google Docs uses to open a link), they told me they couldn’t help me and sent me to Developer Support, which then sent me back to regular Tech Support (all this over the space of several days). I have not had the heart to try again to get Tech Support to engage.

    It’s easily reproducible – any chance you would be willing to add this to your list of items to take to Apple for resolution?

  24. Yes, thank you. I also heard of this one through another parent, and you’re right, total, unpreventable hack. I’m adding it to our list that we’re brining to Apple.


  25. Hi, do you see the “Communications Limits” feature in your Screen Time options? You might be able to achieve that kind of control over the texts and emails from others in there, although we have not tested that exact scenario.

  26. When I try to check my kid’s screen time from my own iPhone (iOS 13.1.3), most of the time I get a void page (in the daily or week display). Do someone know what’s going on ? Thanks.

  27. I think Apple is on the right track but they have a long way to go to fix all these issues. One of my pet peeves I have with the App store is that there is no way to reset downloads as if an app was never installed. For example. I originally permitted my teen to have snapchat. She abused it so I deleted her account and deleted the app from her phone. However, she could just go to the app store and re-download the app since I already granted her permission for this app in the past. Of course she knows that if she tries that I will literally “Break” her phone and she will lose it indefinitely. 🙂 Apple should allow parents to reset app store permissions so kids have to ask for permission to reinstall apps that were previously approved and installed, but since deleted. Seriously… Apple should just ask parents for advice before implementing any OS changes or new stuff. I have already reported about a dozen issues with the iPhones (whether is screen time related or other issues I have experienced)…but they DO NOT respond or actually listen to consumers. I wonder if anyone is paying attention at this company.

  28. There are a lot of things I really dislike about this article. I’m 22 years old so I’m neither a parent nor a child, and I think I have sort of an unbiased view on this issue. Monitoring and limiting screen usage is useful, but you’re suggesting that parents go to extreme measures and ruin the experience for their kids.

    > Now, that’s smart. But we can disable screen recording!

    Disabling screen recording is such an extreme measure to prevent the kid from watching the passcode in a video. This is a feature that they may want to use but you’ve just scared parents into disabling it. A better solution would be to make parents aware of the red bar at the top of the screen when it’s being recorded.

    > If a kid is willing to factory reset their phone for more access, then there are greater issues to deal with. I might argue the kid isn’t mature enough for an internet-ready, portable device of their own.

    If anything, you should applaud a kid’s creativity for finding these workarounds. It’s an indication of creativity and if encouraged it can lead to success in technical fields in the future (particularly around security).

    > Ok, for this hack it’s time to turn off Siri. Fun fact – I met the woman who is the voice of Siri in 2016 in Boston!

    Once again, another extreme measure. You’re getting parents to become extremely paranoid and the kids will face the consequence of this. Siri is a useful tool in iPhones and asking them to disable it isn’t ideal.

    > Wow. We have to marvel at their creativity. If they could only apply this same grit and stamina to algebra.

    Once again, don’t shame kids for using their creativity here. Technical skills are great and discouraging them for applying creativity in tech does no one any favours.

    > In the meantime, we need to turn off the ability to delete apps.

    This might make sense for some age groups, but it could also be a frustration for others. Imagine running out of storage or trying to get rid of an app you no longer like only to realise you can’t delete it. I understand that you want to educate parents about this if their kids are abusing it but I feel you need to do more to help the kids by pointing out that these are extreme solutions that should only be used if the kid has abused these loopholes in the past.

    Overall, I’m really unhappy with the lack of empathy this article demonstrates towards kids. You should definitely add warnings to some of these solutions explaining the downsides of them and how they should only be used in extreme measures. Building paranoia isn’t going to help anyone.

  29. This is a new issue that I have not seen reported yet. You might need to call Apple. But recently, that has been a move that bears much fruit for people other than “thanks, we’ll let our engineers know.”

  30. Hello! Thank you for leaving such a detailed, well-written comment. I enjoy other perspectives, and have adjusted the tone of a few of our comments as a result. I believe your comments have caused me to make the post even better. In the end, I agree with you. We need to err on the side of curiosity before condemning the brilliance. Thanks again!


  31. My daughter figured out our password so we changed it. BUT it is not changing on her phone despite the fact that we changed it on our parental settings?

  32. An iOS 13 bug that’s a real pain right now is that Screen Time passcode changes don’t stick unless you completely toggle off Screen Time, and re-toggle it back on again. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll have to reset all of the other settings, too. Big pain! But, everyone is experiencing this right now.


  33. Hack #1 is not working for me. What that setting does in iOS13 is preventing the kid from changing if Time and Date is allowed to use location services or not. It doesn’t prevent the kid from toggling automatic time and date on and off, and changing the time zone. This ability alone renders Screen Time absolutely useless.

  34. Issues like this aren’t limited to Apple products. My son has been exploiting the Windows 10 screen limits feature and playing on his computer whenever he feels entitled to do so. I’ve had to go to the extreme of removing the power cable until he asks for it.

    I’ve reported this to Microsoft a number of times, but never a follow-up.

  35. A few queries:
    1. What about controlling access to apps that appear in the lock-screen, like spotify? These don’t seem to contribute to the screen-time totals.
    2. Why does the amount of screen-time logged for the phone for the day so much larger than the sum of the amounts of screen-time logged for each app – ie, (family member) > “See All Activity” > “Total Screen Time” reads “2h 34m”, while the sum of the “MOST USED” apps could be half that. Is this related to (1)?
    3. Why is the “Approve For” limited to 15 minutes, 1 hour, etc? Why can’t I select what I want?
    4. What about allowing the parent to create a default profile, then allowing the parent to switch something on for a short while, then the phone reverting to the default profile? How many times have we enabled an app, then forgot to deny it?

  36. The date/time solution does not work. I have tried it several times following the instructions very carefully. Everything is as it should be and greyed out in system services but I go back to date/time and the set automatically button is not greyed out. I feel like it used to be greyed out but now I cannot fix it for the life of me. It completely defeats the purpose of screen time and is so disappointing

  37. No matter what I do I can not get the date and time to grey out, even on my phone, are you sure these are the right instructions?


  38. These are very good tips. But one issue is that the screen time is on and with app limits, when checking the screen time activity from the family share, it is not reporting any kind of activity why is that? And how to fix it?

  39. Hi, we are looking into it. Something has recently changed and I appreciate that you and a few others have brought this to our attention. We tested this sequence of steps closely in order to write the blog post. But, clearly something is now different. If we figure it out, we’ll let you and others know.


  40. Hi, we are looking into it. Something has recently changed and I appreciate that you and a few others have brought this to our attention. We tested this sequence of steps closely in order to write the blog post. But, clearly something is now different. If we figure it out, we’ll let you and others know.


  41. Hi, we are looking into it. Something has recently changed and I appreciate that you and a few others have brought this to our attention. We tested this sequence of steps closely in order to write the blog post. But, clearly something is now different. If we figure it out, we’ll let you and others know.


  42. We have three iPad 6th gen models for our kids. All of them have been upgraded to iPadOS 13.1.3, all have the same model number – MR7G2LL/A. They should all be configured the same, but the one for our oldest, who is 10, can still bypass the timezone restriction in hack #1. On the oldest, the “Set Automatically” option can be toggled and the timezone changed, while the one used by our next child, who is 8, it is locked to Set Automatically and is greyed out. I’ve been through all of the Screen Time settings on their iPads, and they appear to be configured the same.

    I noticed iPadOS 13.2 is out, I am upgrading these two iPads to see if that changes anything.

  43. That’s not a normal behavior, Joe. You might want to give Apple Support a call and/or stop into an Apple Store for them to ensure everything is set up correctly.

  44. The fix of hack #1 doesn’t seem to work. I’ve done it several times and nothing is grayed out. And I can’t find this workaround mentioned anywhere else online either. Perhaps it’s carrier dependent? I’m on Xfinity Mobile (which uses Verizon’s network). I’d love to know if there IS a way to block changing the time if there is a way!

  45. Hi, yes, something has changed recently to make this hack ineffective. It’s worked for over a year and now something has changed. We’re looking into it!

  46. Hi,
    my son discovered the code of Screen Time Control. I changed it on my iPhone, in Family Sharing, but I don’t know why on his iPhone it didn’t change. How can I change it on his iPhone?
    Thank you for your help

  47. As a teen whose parents view her screen time (but don’t put concrete limits on them), I can say that some of these parents go too far. My friend gets limited screen time but she’s not even addicted to her phone. I spend a lot of my time on Snapchat, but I only talk to about 5 people, one of whom helps me when I am not feeling mentally OK. I talk to him a lot, whenever he’s on (he’s 4 hours ahead of my time zone and his school takes his phone at night), and he has helped me through so much. If it wasn’t for him, I would be way worse than I am now, so I pretty much need Snapchat to have access to him (he doesn’t really respond on any other app because his equally controlling mom can see, even though he goes to boarding school). For some teens, including me, we need to talk to certain people who we can trust with things we’re going through, and those people don’t always go to your school or other activities. I do online school by myself (started last year), and I only see the same 8 people at swim almost every day. However, I am not close with them, and therefore do not trust them with even 10% of the things I tell my friend that goes to boarding school. Also, some of the best friendships I (and even my mom) have made are over the web. No, you obviously shouldn’t trust everyone, but usually kids my age know who you can trust and who you can’t (and when your mom has been part of a mom’s blogspot-turned-FB group for nearly 17 years, she probably knows the other members pretty well by now).
    I can assure you, all of my friends live on Snapchat. That’s how I can communicate with them. It’s sad, but being schooled at home and living in a very small place you literally can’t leave unless by plane means that you get to know a lot of people in other places through social media, and they can be friends for life. Better than the people who live in your area.

  48. yall Boomers are dumb. There will always be ways for children to circumvent these frivolous restrictions you impose upon them, so you might as well just stop being overly excessive helicopters. No kid likes a parent like this and will be driven to prove he is more tech savvy. In almost all cases, he is! So all of you set down your phones, and let the kids have the same freedom that you had back in your day.

  49. Christine Oliverio

    Thank you for all of this information!! Is there a reason our son’s phone would stop reporting to my husband’s iPhone? It’s almost as if they’re not synced up any longer and we’re sure if it’s some sort of setting it what’s going on…

  50. My son would ask for more time and he would select a certain time and it wouldn’t alert me to approve it and He will just continue to use the app even after down time.

  51. I am 16. I am male. These threads are exactly what makes kids want to do these hacks. Hell, I came here to try to hack my screen time. But you guys just assume the worst of us and it hurts to read. Now yes there are some cases where kids need to be limited and talks need to be had. But a majority of the time we just wanna talk to other people or be able to have some fun while we still can before we have to go make money and start families. You are ruining these years for us. In all honesty just because we are on our phones a lot doesn’t mean we don’t love you or don’t need you. We do it because we love ourselves and we need ourselves and we still have outside activities and people we can’t reach through the phone. Technology forges bonds. I don’t say this to change your mind I say this to educate. So please think twice when debating to put limits on or add more. Because all your doing is limiting happiness before the real part of life starts.

  52. Happiness through a smartphone. Please think about what you just typed. Please study why the apps are constructed the way they are. Your 16-year-old, Paleolithic male brain isn’t strong enough to resist their pull. We write these articles to protect you against a technology that you can’t control. You probably won’t understand. Someday, maybe. Until then, I wish you the best.

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