Ninja_pig

How do I watch YouTube in moderation?

43 posts in this topic

Looking for some advice here

There is probably no activity I have indulged in more in my life (besides sleeping) than YouTube. I don't know the exact number (I'm sure it would be scare to see it), but I would estimate that it is around 15,000 hours of watching in total in my life. It's quite impressive considering I am only 20 years old. I think it started out as a replacement to television, which I have been watching from a very young age. This is obviously a huge waste of time, and I am deep in the grips of addiction when it comes to YouTube.

I have been able to quit for shot periods of time (cold turkey for a week or so) but I always have gone back to my old habits. I have deleted every other form of social media (which I may have been previously been addicted to) and have not gone back. This includes Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook. The main reason I have not been able to quit YouTube is that it has benefited my life in many ways. I often learn very useful information applicable to my life purpose and my life in general. I feel I have become smarter in many ways because of YouTube, Actualized.org being one of the many examples. Because of this I often do not feel it is a wise decision to quit watching completely, but at the same time it feels very difficult to watch YouTube "only a little". This is even with things such as the DFtube extension and not watching on my phone.

So my question is: how do I get the benefits of YouTube without wasting such ridiculous amounts of time on it? Is it even possible? Is going cold turkey the only way to fix my problem?

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Just make restrictions, u shouldnt go cold turkey.

Go like ok i will watch 2 videos right now on self-help.

Same with video games. Say ok i ll play 30mins.

Ive done with this with nofap and its so easy. First i used to fap every other day then every third day then every fourth day and so on...

 

Find what you can do outside of youtube?

Meditation, going outside, gym, programs in ur city, making music, books, journal etc. 

Constantly reducing it the key

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1 minute ago, ShardMare said:

Go like ok i will watch 2 videos right now on self-help.

Same with video games. Say ok i ll play 30mins.

It doesn't really work in practice. It's like saying - go shoot only 0.1g of heroin (Or what is the low dose, I don't even know) and then stop. Or take just a few bites of a hamburger in MCdonalds and then throw it away

These things work like rabbitholes, lol

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@Hello from Russia yes it might not work for everyone. But i already have pretty good discipline.

I just realize the emotion and my desires that they want more. And i realize im being a bitch and thats it

Its about fixing your mindset, accepting more suffering

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Digital well-being , go to your phone settings and enable it ,set your preferred timings , if any important video to watch in between your timings  you can watch it on your mobile browser this will add some resistance element on going on the scroll loop as for an  app it's too easy to scroll

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You don't need to go cold-turkey, it seems that you're clearly getting value from Youtube, and you might be in a period of your life where gathering knowledge and building a solid theoretical foundation is what you need to do. What I'd suggest is to change your relationship to it, making it more mature and intentional.

First thing I would do is noticing what leads you to spend more time than you'd like on it. Are you watching 10 short videos, jumping from one to the other, or do you watch longer videos, treating them as lectures, watching for longer periods of time, uninterrupted, taking notes, etc.? 

If it's more of a mindless form of consumption, where you go down a rabbit hole and watch video after video, I would use some extension like Unhook, which dumbs down your Youtube page so that you can only see your subscriptions and playlists. No recommended, no home page. This helped me prevent going on loops and really only watching videos I intend to watch. When I feel I'd like to discover other videos (e.g. recommended), I scroll through Youtube on my phone, which has a timer of 5min per day. This way I have the option to receive new inputs without indulging in them.

This depends on the type of content you consume, but at some point you'll notice you're saturated, like you cannot take in more information for the day. That's when you firmly and quickly decide to turn off your device and go do something else. It's important to change scenery, go outside for a walk.

Of course, having other meaningful things to do helps spending less time on it. Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport is a great book to get an idea of what it looks like to have a more conscious and intentional relationship with technologies.

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Just get clear on what your goals are and how YouTube helps you in achieving them; find the channels that provide the most value for you and then think about how much time is worth  it is investing in watching that content. There is definitely a limit on how much passive intake of information is useful so figure that out roughly.  There is no need to delete it or artificially restrict yourself from. For me personally the biggest danger with YouTube is just having it constantly stimulate you while you are eating or cooking or whatever - you probably dont want to do that, takes away from the beauty of life too much. Just watch your videos with full attention and then move on.


"We all must be, and can only be, a light unto ourselves."

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I have gone through the same troubles. I have also installed DFtube. That is a great extension. But for me it also wasn't always enough.

For me the other most high impact thing I've done was to delete all of my YouTube accounts. That way YouTube cannot use it's machine learning recommendations on me. It's the perfect recommendations that keep me on YouTube for 3 hours when I only wanted to watch one video.

 

When I got rid of the great recommendations, I get a lot of videos I don't care about at all in my feed. So I have no compulsion to deactivate DFtube. YouTube turns into a search engine like google. I only go there if I want to watch something in particular and I stay a much shorter time because I have DFtube and the videos I've been recommended I don't care about.

It was very difficult for me to delete my YouTube accounts. I have posted so many videos that are precious to me and have so many playlists that I cared about. But I did it and it has helped.

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youtube is relaxation mode even though it is a great learning tool; relaxation is end of day activity; i schedule 2 hours for video content daily, if i watch a movie or a leo vid that will be it for the day; oftentimes early in the day i come across vids i want to watch so i put them in the queue and will watch later in the day/week; if a vid is 30 minutes or more long, i will scan the transcript to see if i want to invest the time and in particular read the conclusion

two hours is the sweet spot for me, after two hours off to sleep

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There should be apps you can install that will limit how much time you can watch per day/week. Or only allow accessing YT during limited hours of the day, like 9pm-12am.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Posted (edited)

You know what I did?

I don't pay for internet. I only have Data on my phone. If I abuse it then...There goes my internet for the month. Then I have to go to library, or cafe to do work.

It also means I am reading way more at home, journaling, Qigong etc.

Edited by Thought Art

"I would rather be wrong, than live in the shadow of your song. Now my mind is open wide, and now I'm ready to Star(t)!" - Arcade Fire "Ready to Start"

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I wish I could give you a better solution than what other people have posted here, but it looks like you got some good answers.

Just wanted to say, I have the same problem.  With the internet in general, I am a constant writer - I just do it nonstop practically, and so I love to listen to lectures and all sorts of different things and learn something new every other day, there's just so much out there in the world, I feel as though by not listening to lectures and researching that I will lose the chance to gain as much knowledge as I can.

I nicknamed myself "The witch of gluttony" because I am so ravenous for information.  It isn't low-tier content, although I could stand to listen through some of the more extensive lectures rather than the easy 15–30-minute ones, just have not had the time to go through them with the dedication I require in order to grow, but maybe in the future.

If I were to change my lifestyle, what I would do is get a playlist or watch later of certain things I wanted to learn about and spend two to three hours each day just learning those things, taking notes, and then avoid YouTube for the rest of the day, but I find that I need music to go into certain states to get in the right frame of mind, or that it helps with creative ideas - and those ideas are not restrained by a time slot.

Maybe you are like me in that regard in that you like to consume new ideas and perspectives and that can be addicting for sure! :D 

I support you in finding a better alternative.  Good luck!


⊱⊱⊰⊰

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Illusory Self said:

@Aaron p

Do you know best alternative for IOS? 

@Illusory Self aw shit dawg nah sorry. Just do some research your looking4 "iOS screen time" manager app or something 

Edited by Aaron p

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Well, YT like many other social media-ish platforms is DESIGNED to be addictive. There is a thing called "cognitive penetration". It means that even if you are aware and willfully resisting the design it will still get to you. Its basically a dopamine hack that works on you on unconscious level. So you want to completely avoid these kinds of features if you are to use it. Else, you'll get addicted to it, sooner or later.

YT wise, you'll find such features in the:

-Home page
-Suggested videos (huge)
-Comment section.
-End screen cards
-Subscriptions (to a lesser degree)

So what I've done is installed the "Unhook" plugin. I use it for firefox, but I guess there might be a chrome version for it too.
What it does is allow you to block many of these features.

What I personally use is:

-the notification button (for only very few important channels)
-the search function

And that is pretty much it. No comments, no suggested videos. Just plain YT video that I find via search.
If I happen to need any of the other features I can get them in just one click on the plugin.

I also use the "news feed eradicator" plugin to block the home page and replace it with custom quotes. So that's also neat.

 

Screenshot_4.png

Screenshot_6.png

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A good start: Write down points for yourself everytime you actively skip youtube during the day, and commit to a certain amount of points. 

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15 hours ago, ShardMare said:

Ive done with this with nofap and its so easy. First i used to fap every other day then every third day then every fourth day and so on...

I like this idea. I will keep this in mind for stopping/starting habits

 

11 hours ago, Waves said:

When I feel I'd like to discover other videos (e.g. recommended), I scroll through Youtube on my phone, which has a timer of 5min per day. This way I have the option to receive new inputs without indulging in them.

This is a really good idea. I will implement this.

12 hours ago, Waves said:

This depends on the type of content you consume, but at some point you'll notice you're saturated, like you cannot take in more information for the day. That's when you firmly and quickly decide to turn off your device and go do something else. It's important to change scenery, go outside for a walk.

Of course, having other meaningful things to do helps spending less time on it. Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport is a great book to get an idea of what it looks like to have a more conscious and intentional relationship with technologies.

I keep a look out for the feeling of saturation now that you mention it. I will also read that book recommendation. Thank you!

11 hours ago, Nilsi said:

Just get clear on what your goals are and how YouTube helps you in achieving them; find the channels that provide the most value for you and then think about how much time is worth  it is investing in watching that content. There is definitely a limit on how much passive intake of information is useful so figure that out roughly.  There is no need to delete it or artificially restrict yourself from. For me personally the biggest danger with YouTube is just having it constantly stimulate you while you are eating or cooking or whatever - you probably dont want to do that, takes away from the beauty of life too much. Just watch your videos with full attention and then move on.

I think I will start following a rule where I can only watch YouTube while sitting in my chair or showing something to someone. No watching in the bed or bathroom or while eating.

11 hours ago, Shane Hanlon said:

For me the other most high impact thing I've done was to delete all of my YouTube accounts. That way YouTube cannot use it's machine learning recommendations on me. It's the perfect recommendations that keep me on YouTube for 3 hours when I only wanted to watch one video.

How did you delete your account? I tried deleting my account and it deleted everything except for the algorithm data. I still get relevant recommendations but all of my playlists, comments, and uploads are gone.

8 hours ago, gettoefl said:

youtube is relaxation mode even though it is a great learning tool; relaxation is end of day activity; i schedule 2 hours for video content daily, if i watch a movie or a leo vid that will be it for the day; oftentimes early in the day i come across vids i want to watch so i put them in the queue and will watch later in the day/week; if a vid is 30 minutes or more long, i will scan the transcript to see if i want to invest the time and in particular read the conclusion

two hours is the sweet spot for me, after two hours off to sleep

I think I will implement this also. I like the idea of coupling movies/youtube time together and only watching at the end of the day. Maybe I'll do 1 hour of YouTube or movies and one hour of reading each day.

7 hours ago, Thought Art said:

You know what I did?

I don't pay for internet. I only have Data on my phone. If I abuse it then...There goes my internet for the month. Then I have to go to library, or cafe to do work.

It also means I am reading way more at home, journaling, Qigong etc.

Interesting! This is actually a really good idea! I don't think that this is a possibility right now because of my living/work situation, but I will attempt this in the future!

7 hours ago, JoeVolcano said:

Just start differentiating between "worthwhile youtube" and "pissing my time away youtube".

(Note relaxation/enjoyment is worthwhile.)

Cheers

I think I'm actually going to start recording this. Maybe use a spreadsheet to keep track of all the videos I watch and how much I enjoy them. Thanks for the suggestion!

@Loba I think I am definitely like you with my thirst for knowledge! Although, I think my YouTube addiction may be restricting the total amount I'm able to learn because most videos are pretty short and don't actually teach you that much and I also don't read that much. This is why I think moderation is important because I want to be able to learn a lot from many different sources without using up all of my time.

3 hours ago, Yog said:

And that is pretty much it. No comments, no suggested videos. Just plain YT video that I find via search.
If I happen to need any of the other features I can get them in just one click on the plugin.

I actually didn't consider disabling comments, but I think that's what I'll do from now on. Disable comments and subscriptions.

 

You have all been very helpful! In summary I will implement the following rules in an attempt to moderate my YouTube/movie consumption:

1. Limit scrolling on YouTube on my phone to 5 minutes per day, so I can look for a few new videos to watch.

2. No watching YouTube when I am not at a computer sitting down in a chair with my full attention on the video. No youtube in the bathroom, during eating, or in bed.

3. Only watch YouTube between the hours of 7:00pm and 12:00am (usually after I have eaten dinner) and only for 1 hour per day.

4. I will keep track of every video that I watch on a spreadsheet and rate each video out of 10 to determine which ones are worth my time and which ones aren't.

5. I will use YouTube's "watch later" functionality to find videos I want to watch and only watch those on my watch later playlist. I will only watch videos after they have been on the playlist for at least 24 hours (to avoid compulsively watching videos that I see)

6. The only exception to these rules is when I want to show a video to someone else, in which case I have to be in their physical presence and we both have to be watching the video.

 

Thank you all again for the suggestions!

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4 hours ago, Yog said:

Screenshot_4.png

Great share! That's an awesome plugin.

Cold Turkey Blocker is another good one:

https://getcoldturkey.com


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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11 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Great share! That's an awesome plugin.

Cold Turkey Blocker is another good one:

https://getcoldturkey.com

What are those plug-ins for? 

 


I don't have fake friends anymore. That's the best part. I cut cords. 

 

 

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