How much time are you spending on your phone?

A new feature on Apple's iOS 12 allows iPhone owners to track and monitor time spent on a device, garnering astonishment from Twitter users who shared their own shocking analytics.

With social media taking more of our attention than we may realise, Apple's Screen Time function allows users to understand how much time is being spent on each application.

Some people on Twitter were horrified at their statistics, realising their device was soaking up more time than they knew.

Following the update's release on September 17, one man shared his results before stating he was looking forward to lowering his value.

Another said: "Total wasted time in the last 7 days", with an image showing almost five hours of usage on Twitter and YouTube each as well as another four hours on Instagram.

After activating the iOS 12 application around 6pm, one man said it was "scary to see" he had received around 240 notifications in just a few hours.

Analysis from Statista states 66 percent of the country's population actively uses social media.

On average New Zealanders will spend 18 hours a week getting their digital fix, up from each week 15 hours in 2015.

Kiwis between the ages of 15- 24 are spending a minimum of six hours a week accessing the web from a phone, according to Nielsen. 

To counter overuse, Apple's Screen Time hopes to managing usage.

Time can be allocated for how long a person wants to spend on an app and reminders are prompted when the duration is almost up.

The function runs in the background of iPhones and iPads with options to activate time limits on different applications and reminders let you know how much time you have left with an app.

It is also being praised by parents who want to give their kids time on a device, but need to control that activity. 

Once family sharing is set up on the phone, parents are able to restrict their child's access to specific content as well as allocate time limits for different apps before tracking kids' device use. 

The downtime function allows users to block device use at night and choose apps that are always allowed.

Some have suggested on social media that the function should also be used by parents to monitor their own device usage to be a good role model and "digital citizen" to their kids.   

Parenting blogger Maria Foy said time on devices in her household is monitored closely, although they are a technology-heavy home and the app is a great option for supervising.

The Happy Mum Happy Child creator told Newshub that her kids, who are 6 and 4 years old, only spend around two hours each week on a device but she believes Screen Time is a fascinating tool.

"As my kids get older, I really don't know what will be in store for them but I love the Screen Time option within the new Apple iOS," Ms Voy said after checking out the update last week. 

"I think for children who spend more time on devices it will be so helpful for parents to monitor their kids' usage, and to control how much time they spend on it.

"I know some parents out there might just say 'you control what your kid does' but at some point they're going to get to an age where you need to give them space.

"We will need to let them do what they want, and this Screen Time option allows that to happen whilst still having some control over it."

She said anything that will help her learn and grow with her children as they get older in this "device world" is welcomed.