Every time my iPhone notifies me of my screen time for the week, I could die of shame. What I really want to know though is how much of that screen time is me actively on Instagram, checking the weather or looking through Facebook, and how much of it is me simply searching through apps to find the information I need. Because I spend a lot of time doing that.
Could I be organising my apps into folders to reduce this? Sure, I did it with my last phone. But it was still a timely exercise finding the folders, and then finding the apps within those folders. So this level of organisation hasn’t been at the top of my priority list.
Recently, I was asked if I wanted to try the Amazon Echo Show 10 to decrease my screen time, which was a wild concept given the product is, you know, a screen. But it absolutely worked. Here’s how.
With my Amazon Echo Show 10, I input my alarm for the same time every week morning and am done with it. Before this device, I would still check that my alarm was set every morning by checking it the night before. Sometimes I’d even wake up mid-sleep to double-check. It’s this level of anxiety that has enabled me to never sleep in once during my six-year tenure at this business, but it’s also undoubtedly increased my screen time.
I haven’t once used my phone for the alarm setting since I’ve had the Amazon Echo Show 10. It shows your alarm time in the top right of the screen, so you simply have to look at it to know that it’s certainly going to go off the next morning. The alarm noise is also a lot less aggressive, and if I want it to stop, I just tell Alexa that.
If I want to change it one morning? “Alexa, cancel my alarm for tomorrow.” Sorted.
I’ve never considered myself a smart-home type of gal until my mum bought my Arlec WiFi-powered plug sockets for Christmas one year. She wanted to reduce the time I spent worrying if my hair straightener was turned off after I left the house (if you know, you know). Problem is, I was stuck at home for most of 2021, so I didn’t really get to use it for the reason she gave it to me. Instead, I was lying in bed, jumping into the GridConnect app and turning my lights off that way.
But now? Now I say “Alexa, turn off lights” and she does the handiwork for me, no wrist activity needed. All I needed to do was sort out a one-off connection in my Alexa App to my Grid Connect app, and lazy world is my oyster.
News, music and an overall morning routine
It’s not uncommon for me to wake up and scroll through my phone to see what I missed overnight before my wrists are even fully awake. Instead, I say “Alexa, start my day” and she takes me through the motions. In the Alexa App, under “Routines”, I’ve created a “Start My Day” system that gives me what I would usually use my phone for in the morning.
For me, this includes a fun fact from Alexa, a rundown of new emails I’ve received, a quick news update (you can choose which channel you want it from) and a bit of Chvrches from Spotify as music to get ready for the day.
Amazon Echo Show 10 Verdict
Are there many, many more functions you could use the Amazon Echo Show 10 for? One thousand per cent. You can use it for cooking (which is where the screen really comes in handy, as it follows you with a motion sensor), to help you get to sleep with soothing sounds or to amplify your smart home with things like smart blinds – to name a few.
Like all technology and just regular humans, she can struggle from time to time with direction or when trying to answer a certain question. It takes some time to get used to if you’ve never ventured down this path before. The setting up process is also a bit of a time-suck, but short-term pain for long-term gain, you know?
What I can tell you, is that just by scratching the surface, I’m already loving my digital helper. I might be late to the smart device game, but I’m so glad I joined.
Love you, Alexa.