It’s easier than ever to fall down a YouTube rabbit hole of Zoom reunions, living room late night streamed shows, and COVID-19 news reports. Which is why it’s more important than ever to set digital boundaries and regulate your time online.
To get you started, YouTube this week launched new bedtime reminders, “so you can set times to be prompted to go to bed and better manage your sleep schedule.” The tool lets users choose when to stop watching videos and put their phone down. Or at least move on to another social network.
Set start and end times via the app’s Settings—where you can also decide if reminders may interrupt videos and turn on the ability to dismiss or snooze a cue. The feature is rolling out now to Android and iPhone users. And while it’s aimed at adults, the function can just as easily be employed to keep kids from rotting their brains on vloggers, music videos, and sports clips.
In 2018, YouTube introduced a suite of tools to help with digital wellbeing, including a time-watched profile, break reminders, and a scheduled notification digest. Users can also disable notification sounds and vibrations during a specified period each day—perhaps between working hours or while relaxing in the bath.
“Every single person uses YouTube differently. Some of us use it to learn new things, while others use it when they need a laugh or to stay in touch with their favorite creators,” according to YouTube team member Sarah. “Whether you consider yourself a power user or just like watching videos from time to time, we want to help everyone better understand their tech usage, disconnect when needed, and create healthy habits. We hope all of these features help you do just that.”