The Aro Blog

The data behind putting down your phone to connect

February 9, 2023
Rich Donnellan
Rich Donnellan
Head of Customer Experience

Last week we shared a story of Mark Koester and his blog recapping how he spent his time in 2022. Spoiler…he tracks everything. It was one of the most read stories we’ve ever shared in our newsletter, so we figured we would share some Aro data as well.

The Aro app and the ability to measure how much time you spend away from your phone is key to developing the habit and gamifying the whole experience. At it’s most basic, it’s like tracking steps when walking or miles when running. We analyzed activity across the Aro community in January to see how and when people are putting down their phones to be present. 

This heatmap visualizes the number of Aro sessions happening across a 24-hour period in January. An "Aro session" is when an Aro user has intentionally put their phone in the Aro Home device to spend time away from their phone. The device and the phone connect via Bluetooth and measure the time spent away from your phone.

1. Sunday is the most popular day to “Go Aro”

It may not be a surprise that Sunday is the most popular day for people to intentionally spend time away from their phones. Not only are people unplugging on Sunday more than any other day, but they are doing it for longer stretches. 33% of sessions on Sundays in January were over an hour vs 23% on all other days (excluding overnights). We love seeing these long, uninterrupted Aro sessions. 

2. Families are reclaiming dinner time

When you think about phone-free activities or habits you want for your family, family dinner tends to be at the top of the list. It’s great to see Aro allowing families to disconnect from the rest of the world and spend time together around the table. We know screen time is the number one battleground among families today, and sometimes telling your kids to put down their phones (or vice versa) can start an argument. Leading by example and putting your phone in Aro is a quiet invitation to join. Literally - the app will notify everyone in your house that you just put your phone in Aro and invite them to join you.

3. People are getting better sleep while Aro holds their phone

Both parents and kids are putting their phones to bed in Aro before putting themselves to bed. We don’t have many rules when it comes to Aro, but one rule we suggest you enforce is “no phones in the kid's rooms at night." Creating the habit of putting your phone in Aro (and seeing all the data around it) gives you peace of mind that your kids are getting quality sleep and not glued to their phones all night.

4. They are starting the day without scrolling

This one was honestly a surprise to us. There is a spike in usage from 7 am - 9 am when people are waking up, getting ready, and getting themselves and the kids out the door. Aro is creating an environment for people to stop checking their phones first thing in the morning and focus on starting the day off the right way. 

5. We still need our phones during the day

The big red blob staring you in the face in the middle of the heatmap is a great example of how much we still need our phones. We need our phones to work, manage our families, keep in touch with each other, etc. The good news is that most of those things happen between the hours of 9-5. We can put down our phones and stop inviting the world into our living rooms when we get home. 

A few other key stats

Aro users averaged 5.5 hours per day away from their phone in January

Most popular activities: Sleeping, Family Time, Dinner, Cleaning, Working

Rich Donnellan
Aro app leaning against the Aro Home device
A close-up, overhead shot of the Aro showing a phone charging in one of the slots.
A family is gathered in the living room. Teenage kids run around while the parents relax on the sofa.

Life happens off your phone

Make phone-free time a part of your daily routine.