This year, it seems like every tech company has become increasingly concerned about your digital wellbeing. Less than a month after Instagram rolled out its first suite of tools for measuring time spent on the app, YouTube is following suit with its own settings to help you curb your addiction.
Advocacy groups and researchers raised alarms about the negative effects of too much screen time, and now, tech companies are being forced to take action. This has resulted in new, hard-to-catch-on acronyms, like Google's "JOMO" (the joy of missing out). It's also led to the speedy roll-out of tools that not only make it easy to see how much time you're spending tapping through Stories or watching Bad Lip Reading videos, they help you limit yourself.
Whether you want to stop spending all your time online is, of course, another matter altogether. And since Google, Apple, and Instagram are not your parents, the choice is up to you and you alone. But if you do want to set some parameters on how much YouTube you're consuming, there are a few easy steps you can take.
To see how much time you've spent on YouTube over the past week, sign in online, tap your Account, and click on "Time watched." Once there, you'll also see controls that let you turn off Autoplay — a key way to curb a binge before it begins, as well as an option to set a reminder to take a break after a certain amount of time. When your viewing time is up, that reminder will pop up onscreen and you can heed it or click "dismiss."
To control your YouTube notifications, head to Settings, where you'll see a way to condense all of the day's notifications into one. You can also turn off all sounds and vibrations for notifications between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Once iOS 12 rolls out this fall, you'll also be able to set a general time limit on various categories of apps — for example, social networking, games, and entertainment — instead of setting limitations on an individual, app-by-app basis.