Early this August, social media giant Facebook released tools that let you measure how much time you spend on Facebook and Instagram. The features were still not fully baked at launch and two and a half months in, they are still limited to the two apps. These measures are a result of the Time Well Spent movement that’s currently being embraced across Silicon Valley. Other tech giants have implemented similar features to their products including Apple with Screen Time tab setting that comes baked in IOS 12 and Google’s Digital Well Being tool rolled out to Pixel users. All these tools have one goal in common – help users to recover their time and use their devices and apps less with more intention.
“We may not even recognize how distracted we’ve become” Craig Federighi, Apple’s VP software engineering.
To find “Your Time On Facebook”: Click More> Settings and Privacy > Your Time on Facebook On Instagram: Click Profile > Settings > Activity
From here, you’ll see a bar graph that displays your usage time by hours and minutes every day. You also get to see the average amount of time you spend each day. Below the graph, you get “Manage Your Time” option where you get to set your preferences for the News Feed or friends list and tell Facebook’s algorithms who to show more or less of. This goes for Instagram too where you get the option to change your notification alerts, for example, disabling push alerts for likes or comments.
Another feature packed is the Daily Reminder. This is a tool for both Instagram and Facebook that lets you set a timer that reminds you once you’ve reached the time you think is more healthy for you. Expect to be annoyed when Facebook or Instagram prompts to get off these apps once the limit is reached. I’ve set mine to forever since I technically live here.
These tools are a welcome move since most people scroll through Facebook using its IOS and Android apps. Facebook hopes to add them for its web platform too. One question remains though: Will this information guilt-shame you to do something about it or will we continue burying our heads in the sand?
In the meantime, go ahead and see how much time you’ve yielded to Facebook and if you have enough willpower, set a reminder and tone down the hours you’ve spent scrolling mindlessly.
Here’s our piece of advice – Don’t feel guilty deliberately scrolling through Stories, just find a balance that works for both you and your schedule.