YouTube Makes It Easier To Track How Much Time You’re Wasting Watching Cat Videos

We have all been down the rabbit hole that is the Internet. It starts with a simple search, perhaps a lookup of the weather for the weekend, and then hours later you find yourself streaming "Little Joe Sure Can Sing" by Joe Ritchie, who you found out is actually Joe Pesci from Goodfellas fame. And woe is you if you trip into a endless sea of YouTube videos. How do you possibly climb out if that happens? We're not sure, to be honest, though Google is now throwing users a lifeline of sorts by showing you how much time you spend watching videos.

This is a new feature that is rolling out to user profiles, available in the account menu starting today. The profile lets you know how long you've watched YouTube videos day, and also yesterday, plus a tally of the past seven days. All of that data is then broken down into a daily average, which might be the most useful metric of all.

YouTube Time Limit

What you do with this information is up to you. If you want to use it to curb how much time you're watching YouTube videos, Google will help you do that with a reminder system.

"Remind yourself to take a break: Once you know how much time you’re spending in the app, you may want to set a limit. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re having fun, which is why we’ll help you set up a reminder to take a break," Google explains.

You can do that by heading over to Settings and selecting an amount of time that you don't want to go over. When you reach that limit, YouTube will let you know via a pop up on your screen. And don't worry about being spammed with notifications, Google has an answer for that as well—you can keep it to one notification per day.

"If you want more control over when you receive notifications from YouTube, you can bundle all of your YouTube push notifications into a single notification each day and set a specific time to receive your digest. Just go to your settings to choose when you’d like to receive your digest, and from then on you’ll only receive one notification per day," Google adds.

One thing to keep in mind is that Google includes time spent watching YouTube TV. Hopefully a future update will allow users to separate YouTube TV from regular YouTube videos to make the time limits (and tallying) more useful.

Top Image Source: YouTube via Paul Lilly