There’s an inconceivable amount of effort put into making YouTube as addictive as possible. Google with its quintillion engineers designs everything in such a way that you keep watching videos on it for a long time. It’s their best product and no company wants to cut on their product just because some people are addicted to it. Just like any other addiction, it is you who has to make the change and get out of it. Here are some suggestions that can free you from hours of meaningless binge watches.
YouTube seemed to have reached its saturation point a year ago when the UI and the layout were carried forward from the previous years with nothing major overhaul to be seen. It seemed to be under control from the addiction point of view up until the introduction of recommended. Recommended is a new feature from YouTube that shows videos that you could like. And it’s scary how efficient it is!
The recommended section refreshes every minute with new videos according to your interests and lures you to click on them. Recently YouTube has started recommending decade-old videos that did not have many views earlier but are gaining traction recently. YouTube has also started showing less-than-a-minute videos that appear harmless at first but soon you find yourself clicking videos after videos, wasting hours in the process.
The best way to avoid the recommended section is to block the feature altogether. There are many extensions like unhook, unblocker etc that get the job done pretty well. You can choose which sections from Youtube you want to block and can leave others if you choose to do so.
Save videos to watch later
One trick that someone suggested to me was to save videos to watch later. This way you can go to YouTube at a pre-decided time (after completing your work) and watch whatever videos you have saved to watch. As you’re done with watching, you can close the tab and move on with your work. This way you can avoid the homepage of YouTube and keep a check on your watch time.
I have personally never switched on Autoplay, to begin with, but I’ve seen many of my friends leave it on. It could be switched on if you’re listening to songs and want the recommended songs to continue playing but it serves no purpose other than wasting your time. If you want to stop watching YouTube, the first thing you should do is switch off Autoplay
Break the habit
As much as you’d like to put the blame on YouTube, much of the responsibility lies in you. It is not as much of a YouTube problem as it is a brain addiction/ habit problem. You need to break the habit of watching one video after the other for hours. You need to start closing the tab after watching a video. You need to start enduring the pain of consciously stopping after watching just one video. Soon this will become a new habit and slowly you will lose the desire to continue watching videos despite having lots of work.