Find Out How Much Time You've Wasted Watching YouTube Videos

Have you ever emerged bleary-eyed after going down a YouTube rabbit hole, looked up at the clock, and wondered, "How much time did I just spend watching all of those videos?" Now YouTube is rolling out a new tool that will make it easy for you to answer that question. But prepare yourselves, because you may not like what you discover.

The Verge points us to a new post from the official YouTube blog which describes a new tool that gives users a better understanding of their usage habits.

Starting today, you can find all of the YouTube tools in one place, alongside your personal time watched profile. Our goal is to provide a better understanding of time spent on YouTube, so you can make informed decisions about how you want YouTube to best fit into your life.

In your account menu, there should now be a "time watched" profile that "tells you how long you've watched YouTube videos today, yesterday and over the past 7 days." All of this data is pulled from your watch history, but The Verge points out that time spent on YouTube Music and YouTube TV content does not count toward these numbers. The new tool also gives you a statistic that indicates the average time per day you spend watching videos on YouTube, just in case you were curious about how much time you really waste at work watching goofy animal videos.

Time Watched YouTube

Presumably anticipating widespread shock at being confronted with the amount of time users spend on YouTube, the company is also allowing everyone to set a custom reminder to take a break after a certain amount of time. Plus, they're introducing settings that let users disable sounds and vibrations from the app on their phones overnight. All of this is being put in place to "develop your own sense of digital wellbeing", something YouTube's parent company, Google, has been pushing hard lately.

I'm frankly a little surprised that a platform like YouTube would purposefully provide this level of transparency about usage. I mean, there's a reason that most Las Vegas casinos don't have windows – they want you to lose all sense of time so you can spend more of it spending (read: losing) money. I figured an advertising-driven company like YouTube would have the same mentality, but I'm glad to see that they at least appear to be putting the health and safety of their users above squeezing some extra pennies out of them.