YouTube is awesome. Who doesn’t like to watch cats and babies doing funny things, or learn how to replace a door catch on your dishwater to avoid an expensive plumbers bill. But, if you impulsively watch more and more videos and compulsively log in more frequently, even when you had planned to do something more productive, you may be addicted. In this article I will share some tips on how to avoid the black hole of YouTube using, amongst other things, DF Tube a plugin for Firefox.
If this sounds familiar, do not worry, you not alone. With a little bit of willpower, and a clear strategy, you can overcome this issue and return to using the technology in a happy and healthy manner. You will need to find the right strategy for you, but here are some tips to try:
- Schedule a specific time of day, say 6-7pm when you are allowed to use the platform. Do not be tempted to extend this time. Having a strict limit will force you to be more selective in the content you watch.
- Remove the YouTube app from your phone. When trying to break a habit it is useful to add some friction, in order to make the activity more difficult to do. Removing the app from your phone means whenever you are bored, stood in a queue or waiting for a bus, you will not be tempted to watch a few sneaky videos. Now the only time you can watch a video is when you are sat in front of your computer, where you can monitor your time more easily. The added benefit is that you might find yourself talking to more people or reading an educational or entertaining book.
- Unsubscribe from any channels you may be following, and only add a few carefully selected channels back in, which you really enjoy or add value to your life.
- Install a Distraction blocking plug-in for your web browser. For Google Chrome (In the future I am going to show you why should move away from Chrome) there a several good options, one being DF Tube or for Firefox you could try DF Tube . These plug-in allow you to watch your chosen videos, but remove all the distractions from the side bars which YouTube uses to entice you to spend more time on the platform. Remember, the business model of YouTube (and most social media platforms for that matter) is to keep you hooked on their platform for as long as possible. Clicking links, watching more videos, leaving comments ultimately creates more revenue for them.
Using these tips and a little willpower, you should now be able to enjoy YouTube in a happier and healthier way. You still get to watch all your great videos, but hopefully you can now be more intentional in the way you use the platform, and don’t fall into the trap of loosing hours of time clicking on random videos you never intended to watch in the first place.
For a quick guide on how to install the Chrome version, follow the Video below which I found on YouTube (see I still think YouTube is awesome), in which the guy does a great job showing you how to get started.