Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Facebook and Instagram to let users set time limits

Facebook and Instagram to let users set time limits

"Our hope is that these tools give people more control over the time they spend on our platforms and also foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that are right for them". The dashboard is far from ideal - it will only show your daily average for that particular device - but it could give you that much-needed reality check. An option to set a daily reminder to close the app is located beneath the dashboard.

The new feature doesn't tell you how much of your time is spent actively participating in social media-posting, liking, and interacting-and how much is spent passively scrolling content, or what some have dubbed "passive zombie feed scrolling".

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Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said a year ago that he wanted "the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interactions", and the company has since introduced a range of measures to increase control over what people see. In a blog post today, Facebook announced three new tools, based on consultation with leading mental health experts, for both of its social media applications.

Doesn't Facebook make money from me staring at my phone as much as possible, you ask? Also, now, you can mute notifications with "Mute Push Notifications" to turn off notifications for a period. (And presumably, how much less time you've spent with your actual cat.) If you activate "Set Daily Reminder", the software will notify you when you've exceeded whatever allotted time you've set for yourself browsing the site.

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To access the tools on either app, users need to go to their settings page and on Instagram tapping "Your Activity", and on Facebook tapping "Your Time on Facebook" to access a dashboard showing them how they have spent their time.

"As we learn more about how people's relationship with media technologies impact their well being, we're looking for ways to help give people more control", Sloan said. But Facebook will only show data about your activity in its apps, while the operating system usage stats are far more useful.

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