Finally, it would seem that Facebook has begun to acknowledge the fact that its users are spending too much time on the app and that could potentially have some negative side effects. To combat this, the developers at Facebook are creating a ‘Time Limit Tool’ so that its users can set a time limit to ensure they aren’t wasting too much time on the app. This app can be used for Facebook or Instagram.
This new tool will allow users to be able to track and monitor how much time they’ve spent scrolling and have a reminder set off when they have reached the time that the user has allotted, and even mute notifications for a period of time.
In a recent blog post, Facebook announced, “We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring. Our hope is that these tools give people more control over the time they spend on our platforms and also foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that are right for them.”
Facebook users are continuing to decline as people are simply losing interest and are also recognizing how much time is actually being wasted staring at a screen. Having this app is a huge step in the right direction. In fact, just showing people how much time they are actually spending screen-staring on a daily basis is of value.
It’s funny because I was just saying to a friend that someone needs to develop an app that actually shows us the amount of time that we spend on the various social media platforms. Maybe Facebook was listening and decided they better jump on this so that they can spin it how they would like, rather than having an outside party app come in called “Time Suck” or Wasted Dayz App” or something to that effect. For many, the amount of time spent would be likely a shock. But getting a clear picture of it and facing this can be an excellent way to inspire us to make different choices with social media.
Some say Facebook’s new app doesn’t quite go far enough.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a radical change or that it’s going to really change a lot about the way that most people use Facebook or Instagram,” Grant Blank from the Oxford Internet Institute told Newsbeat. “It strikes me as a way to balance their corporate interest of keeping people spending as much time as possible on Facebook while still being responsive to people who find the continual notifications to be disturbing or distracting.”
How Do You Use The Tool?
To access the tool on either Facebook or Instagram simply head to the settings page and select ‘Your Time On Facebook’ Or ‘Your Activity’ on Instagram. At the top is a dashboard showing average time in-app on the device you are using. Below is an option to set a daily reminder that will alert you when you’ve been spending too much time on Facebook or Instagram.
Let’s Use This Tool To Our Advantage
We might as well take this new offering from Facebook and use it to our advantage. First, how about a simple weeklong experiment where we don’t change a thing. We use the social media platform as we normally would, and at the end of the week, we check our stats. But before we check, let’s take a guess and see if we are anywhere close to that guess or way outside of it. Regardless of what you may have guessed, it still might inspire you to make a change and cut down, or even drastically limit the amount of time you are spending.
What if you were spending 8 hours a week on the book, would that be enough time to inspire you to make a change? What would you do with that extra time?
Why Should You Limit Your Time?
If you’re thinking, I generally get enjoyment from Facebook and I love seeing pictures of my friends, family, nieces/nephews, grandkids etc., I wouldn’t want to miss out. I’m curious to know how much of that time is actually spent looking at these pictures, versus the endless scroll, in which one is searching for these things? If we limited our screen time, we make more time for real life interactions, more time in nature, more time to ourselves, time to nurture ourselves, time to try something new, time to clean out that closet, time to pick up a new hobby or read a new book and actually learn something.
When you do go on to the platform, you can streamline your experience, by going directly to the pages of your closest friends and family and see if they have posted anything new. You can do this with your favourite pages too, like Collective Evolution. This is a much better way to ensure you are actually seeing the latest content from these pages. Often on Facebook, you only see what they want you to see.