Quick Tip of the Day

As people are starting to understand the addictive power technology has over us, the tech companies have started to incorporate ways for you to limit your usage. But those ways are never set as the default and often we just give in to our emotional brain rather than letting our rational brain make our decisions.

The next couple days’ tips will focus on how to regain our ability to choose for ourselves how much is enough. Today’s subject is Youtube.

The statistics on YouTube usage are staggering. You can read them all here but for now I’ll just share some highlights. YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google. It is the third most visited site on the internet after Google and Facebook. 300 hours of video are added to YouTube every minute.

What is the most effective thing YouTube has ever done to keep you glued to the screen? Autoplay. Yes, people were leaving the site when the video they came for was over because it was easier to close the browser than it was to press play on the next video. Then the engineers and behavioral experts tested Autoplay and suddenly there was no effort required to keep the related videos rolling. It was a tremendous discovery and was quickly adopted by every video service out there.

So how can you keep YouTube from pulling you, once again, down the endless rabbit hole of talking dog videos? Turn off autoplay. It’s that simple. The switch is right there to the bottom right of the video. And the best thing about it? You only have to do it once. Yes, one moment of rational decision making will save you hours of time you didn’t intend to waste.

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