- Habit Examples
- ▶️ How I binge 85% less YouTube now
▶️ How I binge 85% less YouTube now
How making it worse made it so much better
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⚡️ Estimated read time: 2 minutes 47 seconds.
The 3 people who know me best are:
And this is a problem.
(Not the first two… just the third one.)
Because it means YouTube creepily knows exactly which 17 videos I won’t be able to resist watching.
Every. Dang. Time.
So every time I open the app, I can just kiss the next 2 hours goodbye.
Yeah, it’s that bad.
At least it was… till about 5 months ago.
Remember when I quit Instagram on accident?
I needed to do this again, but with YouTube.
There’s a couple caveats though:
I can’t completely quit YouTube because I use it for both work and this newsletter
YouTube is the only way I survive DIY house projects
There’s a few channels I genuinely enjoy following
It’s just all gotten a bit… out of hand.
So instead of completely quitting YouTube, here’s what I did:
Deleted the YouTube app from my phone
Installed this chrome extension on my computer (it removes all suggested videos, comments, and disables the YouTube home page, among other things)
Committed to only using YouTube from the Safari browser when on my phone (and I cannot log in)
The Chrome Extension turned my YouTube into a ghost town:
With no suggested videos, I’m left with only the ability to search a specific video I’m looking for.
This eliminiates 99% of the chances I have to get sucked into rabbit holes when I use YouTube on the computer.
But what about on my phone?
What difference does it make to go to Safari versus the app?
It takes multiple extra steps to get there (added friction often stops me from getting there)
Staying logged out means YouTube doesn’t know who I am (since it can’t access my watch history, it doesn’t know what videos to recommend me)
So in a roundabout way, it accomplishes a similar purpose on my phone that the Chrome extension does on my computer.
Since YouTube on Safari mostly recommends me videos I couldn’t care less about, they’re simply not tempting.
All I’m left with is searching specific videos or channels I’m looking for.
And I’ll be honest with you - all of this was simultaneously a massive relief, as well as a massive annoyance.
It felt empowering to take charge over my YouTube usage, but drove me nuts to have to type in y-o-u-t-u-b-e-dot-c-o-m on my phone every time.
And even more annoying when it didn’t suggest awesome videos like it used to.
But I grit my teeth and pushed on, believing it would all pay off.
5 months later, and my weekly time spent on YouTube is down 84%.
Where I used to average over 90 minutes a day, I’m down to about 15 minutes a day.
Was it worth it?
Should you try it?
Only if you like gaining hours of your life back every day.
Delete the YouTube app from your phone
Install the free Unhook Chrome extension on your computer
Commit to staying logged out when watching YouTube
Then take the extra 30, 60, or 120 minutes of your day back to:
Go on a walk
Spend time with your significant other
Practice an instrument
Finish a project you’ve put off
Play with your kids
Help someone in need
P.S. This took 5 hours to research, write, and design. It only takes you 5 seconds to share.
What did you think of today’s habit example?