Facebook, Instagram add tools to limit time spent on the apps

Judy Cobb
August 2, 2018

If you want to limit your time spent in the app, you can opt to set reminders, which alert you when you are close to a pre-set time limit, or you can mute all incoming notifications for up to eight hours at a time.

The company said it "developed these tools based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organisations" as well academics and its users.

"This is about giving people the tools and the insights for them to decide for themselves what they want to be doing", said David Ginsberg, director of research at Facebook.

Users will be able to access the tools through the settings tab in both apps, which will be labelled "Your Time on Facebook" and "Your Activity" on Instagram. Clicking on either of these listings from the settings page will display a dashboard tracking the amount of time spent on the individual app by day. It's a term Instagram product director Ameet Ranadive used in explaining the new feature to Recode. Apple and Google have built their own tools to tell you how much time you waste on your smartphone or tablet, as well as features that help you reduce screen time. Clicking on the bars within the chart will show the total time spent that day.

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Being as positive as they can, Dawn stated they'd rather focus on what her husband has left, than what was taken away. Munoz-Price added. "More than 99 percent of the people that have dogs will never have this issue", Munoz-Price said.

Obviously, neither Facebook nor Instagram will cut you off once you've reached your self-imposed limit.

Facebook has also partnered with Scholastic and Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to develop and launch "Best Selves" social and emotional learning curriculum created to give teachers easy to use lessons that help students develop pro-social behaviors; and worked with Stand for Children, Harvard's Making Caring Common and other experts to develop "kindness" curriculum and launch Kind Schools Challenge which enrolls middle schools in teaching 30 days of kindness curriculum.

"It's our responsibility to talk openly about how time online impacts people - and we take that responsibility seriously", stated Facebook. The notion of controlling digital addiction is something that is a hot-button topic right now and Facebook is joining the fray, bringing Instagram along for the ride.

These updates are rolling out soon on Facebook and Instagram, they added.

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