How to Tell If Someone Is Active on Their Phone

Parenting in the digital world can be tough. You want to give your kids the freedom to explore and be independent, but you also want to keep them safe. With the rise of smartphones as well as social media channels and apps, it can be tricky to monitor your kid's online activity.

tell if someone is on their phone

You want to give them freedom, but simultaneously, you want them to use their phones responsibly. This is easier said than done, of course. The thing about giving smartphones to your children is that you're also giving them a way to connect with the world that you may not be able to monitor all the time.

Luckily, there are some telltale signs you can look for that will help you determine if your child is using their phone responsibly or not. In this post, we'll review some methods so you can be more informed about your child's online activity. We will especially focus on how to tell if someone is on their phone.

Method 1. Check Their WhatsApp "Last seen" Status

One of the most popular messaging apps out there is WhatsApp. If you're not familiar with it, WhatsApp is a cross-platform app that allows users to send text, audio, and video messages for free. It's also one of the easiest ways to see if someone is active on their phone.

WhatsApp Last seen status

To check your child's WhatsApp "Last Seen" status, open the app and go to the "Chats" tab. Tap on your child's tab; it will open the chat tab. You'll see the timestamp under your child's name. If the timestamp is "online", you know your child is active on their phone.

Method 2. Check Their Status on Facebook Messenger

Another popular way to see if someone is on their phone is to check their Facebook Messenger status. Facebook Messenger app is part of the Facebook app. It allows users to send messages, make calls, and make video calls for free.

To do this, open the Facebook Messenger app and go to your child's profile. Then, look at the "Active" status under their name. If it says "online", you know your child is currently using their phone. The app also will tell you how long since they have been active.

Facebook active status

This will help you to track their phone usage. However, please remember that anyone can use this app multi-platforms, such as on a desktop computer or a laptop, so that they can be active on a different device.

Method 3. Check Their Snapchat Score

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app that allows users to send photos and videos, which are automatically deleted after a certain amount of time. It's a popular app among teenagers.

check Snapchat score

Snapchat score is the sum of all snaps sent and received. You will get some ideas about how much time they spend on their phone if you Check Their Snapchat Score. To do this, open the Snapchat app and go to your child's profile. Then, look at the number next to the "Snapchat Score" heading. This is their Snapchat score. If the score is high, then it's likely that your child is spending a lot of time on their phone.

Method 4. Check Their Activity on Instagram

Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service. Facebook also owns it. It is very popular among teenagers due to its ability to share photos, videos and live stories with friends and family.

To see your child's activity on Instagram, go to your Direct Message tab and look for the green dot next to their name. If the dot is present, your child is currently active on Instagram.

Instagram status

You can also test by posting a story on your Instagram account. If your child watches it, you will see a "seen" icon under your story. This means they are active on their phone.

see Instagram story

Method 5. Check Their Activity on Snap Maps using Snapchat

Snapchat has a feature called Snap Map, which allows users to see the location of their friends who are also using the app. This is a great way to see if your child is on their phone and where they are.

check Snapchat map

To use this feature, open the Snapchat app and zoom out on the Snap Map. Then, look for your child's Bitmoji (the avatar that represents them on the app). If their Bitmoji is present, you know they are currently using their phone, and you can see their approximate location.

Method 6. Use the Find My Friends feature on iPhone

If you have an iPhone, you can use the "Find My Friends" feature to see if your child is on their phone. This feature will show you the location of your child's iPhone.

iPhone Find My Friends

To use this feature, open the "Settings" app on your iPhone and tap on the "Privacy" setting. Then, select the "Location Services" setting and ensure that the "Find My Friends" app is turned on. Once it's turned on, open the "Find My Friends" app and look for your child's contact. If their location is being shared, you will see their current location.

Method 7. Check Their Phone Bill

If you're concerned about how much time your child is spending on their phone, you can Check their Phone Bill. This will show you how many minutes they have used for phone calls and how much data they have used.

To do this, log into your child's account on your carrier's website. Then, look at the "usage" section to see their phone usage for the current billing cycle.

Method 8. Check When They Last Read a Text Message

If you're concerned about how much time your child is spending on their phone, you can always check when they last read a text message. This will give you an idea of how often they use their phone.

last read text message

To do this, you can go to your messaging app and look for your conversation tab with your children. Tap on the conversation and look at the timestamp next to each message. The timestamp will tell you when your kid reads each message. If the timestamp is recent, your child is currently on their phone.

Method 9. Check Their TikTok Account

TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos on any topic. It is very popular among teenagers.


To see if your child is on their phone, you can Check Their TikTok Account. You will see a timestamp next to their video if they have recently posted a video. This timestamp will tell you when your child was last on their phone.

Method 10. Show Their Live Screen on Your Phone

Many parental control apps allow you to see if someone is on their phone. These apps use the GPS on your child's phone to track their location and activity. One of the most popular parental control apps is the AirDroid Parental Control.

AirDroid Parental Control

Key Features

  • Show live screen of the target phone on yours
  • Monitor online activities and offer daily report
  • Watch and hear phone surroundings
  • Schedule and manage screen time and app usage

To use AirDroid Parental Control, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1. Download and Install AirDroid Parental Control App on your device.
Step 2. Launch AirDroid Parental Control on your device and direct you to the sign-up page. Create your account and then log in.
Step 3. Download AirDroid Kids on the target phone. After installation, launch AirDroid Kids and set up the necessary settings on the phone. Then enter the pairing code to bind the device. After pairing, you can remotely monitor the phone.

AirDroid Parental Control Dashboard

By installing AirDroid Parental Control on your phone, you can monitor your kid's phone remotely. You can check the phone's location, see if someone is using it, and view the app usage information. You can also set up a schedule for when your child can use their phone and block certain apps.


There are several ways to tell if someone is actively using their phone. In this post, we reviewed some of the most common methods. Although most of these methods do not necessarily indicate that the person is addicted to their phone, they may give you a general idea of how often your child uses their phone.

If you're concerned about your child's phone usage, we recommend installing a parental control app like AirDroid Parental Control. With AirDroid Parental Control, you can remotely monitor your kid's phones and set limits on their phone usage. You can also block certain apps and websites to help your child develop healthy digital habits. Download AirDroid Parental Control today and enjoy the incredible features it offers!

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