Sorry, mom and dad.
Kids have only had to deal with Apple’s ‘Screen Time’ restrictions for a few weeks. But they’re already finding ways to outsmart the software.
In a Reddit thread reported by The Next Web, parents shared ways that their kids were getting around the limits that Apple’s ‘Screen Time’ allowed parents to set on phone and app use. ‘Screen Time’ is the dashboard that shows how much and where iPhone users spend time on their phones and in different apps. It debuted as part of iOS 12 on September 17.
The comment that inspired the thread came from a dad whose son found a way to get around Screen Time app restrictions that could have only come from a digital native. When his son would hit the time limit on a game he was playing, he would simply delete the app, and re-download it.
To get around time limits for YouTube, another kid would send himself YouTube links in iMessage. Then, he could watch the videos in the iMessage app, even after his YouTube time limit was up.
But the thread also showed that kids have been finding ways to skirt their parents’ rules for how much time they can spend on a device even before Apple rolled out Screen Time. Some even went so far as to write programs to override or hack passwords, and then re-set everything at the end of the day so mom and dad were none the wiser.
Screen Time is another imperfect tool in a parent’s arsenal for the epic battle over kids’ attention.