As a former YouTube addict who regularly spent more than four hours on the app every day, it was extremely difficult for me to stay on top of my priorities, and I often lost track of time. If that sounds anything like you this summer, here are some tried and true ways that helped me get over my addiction.
Turn off notifications
The YouTube notifications make it very tempting to stop what you’re doing and turn your attention to watch the latest video from your favorite channels. Immediately turn off YouTube notifications from your settings to prevent yourself from being easily distracted. By not knowing that there was a new video posted, it’s more likely that you will finish the task at hand before manually clicking into the app to check. Even though this does not completely solve the problem, this baby step will push you onto the right track.
Consider watching a video as a reward
Every time you finish a task (e.g., one homework assignment or chore), you can “reward” yourself with one video. This award system will motivate you to finish your work faster, and after some time, you can gradually increase the goal (e.g., two homework assignments) that must be completed before you’re allowed to watch a video. This gradual decrease of the total videos you consume in a day will help you avoid wasting time on the app and help you complete more tasks in the long run.
Only watch videos from creators you are subscribed to
Allowing yourself to only watch videos from your subscriptions will prevent you from aimlessly scrolling and clicking through video recommendations and getting lost in the rabbit hole of YouTube. Choosing to watch videos only from your favorite YouTubers will help make sure the time you spend on YouTube is more efficiently used as well.
Uninstall the app
Once you’re able to only watch videos from your subscriptions, uninstall the app completely for one day at a time to test whether you have really “recovered” from your addiction. Lengthening this time period from one day to three days to even a week can force you to decrease your dependence on the app.
Apply a time lock
Once you’re not addicted to the app anymore but would still like a way to maintain your progress, try applying a time lock. This can act like a physical reminder that you had your day’s worth of watching YouTube as a notification will pop up once you’ve used up your time.
There you have it; these strategies personally helped me get over my addiction. I hope through using these tips and tricks, you will be able to get over yours, too!