Like other tech companies, Google understands the need to help people use technology responsibly. So, in May 2018, as part of its ongoing Digital Wellness initiative, Google rolled out a feature which reminds viewers to take a break from YouTube.
Now, it has added another tool to its arsenal, and this one tracks the time you’ve spent watching YouTube videos today, yesterday, and over the last seven days. Which, given the rise of vloggers and streamers, might be longer than you think.
More Than the Occasional Cat Video
For many people, YouTube is more than just the occasional cat video shared on social media. Instead, it’s a treasure trove of interesting content that can consume hours of their lives. Perhaps too many hours, on occasion.
To help you find out whether you’re spending too long watching YouTube videos, and if so, do something to quell your addiction, YouTube has added a Time Watched profile to your account menu. This builds statistics based on your watch history.
Now you can track how much time you spend watching YouTube videos, so it’s easier than ever to know when to take a break. Learn more about our tools to support your digital wellbeing: https://t.co/OFmyxkCRuA. pic.twitter.com/NWA8Ujt1XL
— YouTube (@YouTube) August 27, 2018
This profile shows you how long you’ve been watching videos for today, yesterday, and over the past seven days. It also shows you your daily average to help you determine whether this is a true addiction or just an occasional lapse into being a couch potato.
While it’s useful to know this information, it’s only worthwhile finding out you’re spending too long watching YouTube videos if you then do something about it. Like closing the app and reading a book, for example. As unlikely as that is in this day and age.
Help Maintaining Your Digital Wellness
The Time Watched profile is just the latest in a line of tools YouTube has rolled out. The others are the aforementioned reminder to take a break, plus ways of managing notifications so that you don’t feel the need to check your phone every five minutes.
Google isn’t the only tech company taking your digital wellbeing seriously. Facebook recently rolled out new tools for Facebook and Instagram which not only show you how much you’re using the apps but also tries to help you curb your social media addiction.