The YouTube app has now added “digital wellbeing” features intended to stop us getting too addicted to video streaming and social media. Or at least stop Google feeling responsible for such addictions.
Google announced these new monitoring features on the official YouTube blog.
The app will now tally up how long you spent watching videos today, yesterday and in the last week. You’ll get a daily average for time spent too.
YouTube can also remind you to “take a break”. It’ll say something along the lines of “Time to take a break? You’ve been watching cheeseburger taste tests for 4.5 hours”.
The app now also sends silent notifications as standard between 10pm and 8am, because almost no-one realises they can, or bothers to, use Android’s own notification customisations.
These wellbeing measures fall in-line with changes made in Android P. While not available in the very first version of this software, Android will let you see how much time you spend in apps, and can turn your phone screen monochrome at a specific time to remind you to go to bed.
Will features like this suddenly make our phone use much healthier? Did that “are you still watching?” reminder in Netflix stop you from watching 10 episodes of Queer Eye back-to-back?
While they won’t solve sticky problems like compulsive phone use, they do at least give us some tools to realise when “enough” might be a little too much.