Tech Talk: Apple's new tool for people who use their phones too much

Tech Talk with Lisa Hendey/Son Rise Morning Show (

On a recent episode of the Son Rise Morning Show, we discussed Apple’s new “tech addiction” tool, which will be available in iOS 12.  What’s the connection between screen time, self-control, and mental health — for ourselves and our children?

At its recent Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple rolled out a new series of tools that are aimed at curbing technology addiction. Here are the details:

  • On Monday, Apple released the public beta of iOS 12, the latest version of its mobile operating system.
  • One feature of the new system is Screen Time, a system which provides users with a better understanding of time spent on your mobile devices.
  • Users can review a weekly activity summary that details how you used your iPhone or iPad.
  • You can also set limits so you get alerts when you use an app too much.
  • Parents can create customized time limits for apps or a period of downtime when all apps are blocked.

How and why is this actually a direct response to pressure from Apple stockholders asking for more parental control over children’s use of technology? (Read more in this CNBC article.)

  • In January, two of Apple’s leading stockholders, Jana Partners and California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS, called on Apple to address the issue of technology addiction, urging them to create tools to help parents provide oversight of children’s tech usage.
  • Even Tim Cook expressed surprise at how much he uses his phone.

Can’t you and I just resolve this problem by praying for an increase in the virtue of self-control?

  • A variety of recent studies point to a connection between screen use and mental health issues.
  • We should focus our prayer lives and our habits on building the cardinal virtue of temperance.

What can parents do to begin now, even before the rollout of this new operating system, to help our kids grow in temperance?

  • Parents can and should set a disciplined example by examining our own screen use and habits.
  • Families should set ground rules for screen free times and zones of the home.
  • Not every child needs a mobile device. Summer may be the time to assess whether mobile devices are needed tools or something that can be put away for use at a more mature age.

Helpful Resource Article: Educating in Virtue

Listen to the full audio of our conversation:


Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2018 Lisa Hendey


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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