Karan Jayachandra

YouTube Addiction

I am an YouTube addict. The first step in fixing a problem is recognizing it is one. In this case, I think the problem fixed itself. I have been using YouTube for the best part of more than a decade now, and I can safely say that I have used YouTube almost 9 out of days for at least a few mins. For someone like that is naturally curious, YouTube offers too much mental stimulation. I go down rabbit holes within rabbit holes with natural ease and end up time travelling to the end of the day. But all that information that I consume is coming at me at such a rate that I don’t have the time to process it. It’s videos after video, short after short. Therefore, something that should be inspiring or thought-provoking ends up being just an enormous drain on energy and time.

However, I hate what is known as the ‘algorithm’. It tailors content that you can then watch one after the other to keep you hooked. In the ideal world, I look up the video or the information that I want, get this specific content and then leave. Reflect on it and use what I learnt so that it has an impact on my life. This was despite me turning off all the history that YouTube keeps track of like the videos you watch or the searches on Google. On a side note, you should do this too if you care about online privacy. Google Ads are a big part of personal tailoring of advertising on the internet and switching this off and deleting your history will treat the biggest wound in your digital life. This is just my personal opinion.

Despite me recognizing this problem, I have not managed to rid myself of YouTube. I have tried several methods to staunch the time lost on this application, but I have failed. These have included removing the app entirely and time blocking the app using iOS’s screen time feature. But these have never ended up working out for me. However, I have good news now. Recently YouTube has switched off the home page unless you switch on watch and search history.

YouTube Home Screen

YouTube therefore has solved the problem for me. You might be wondering if I am an addict, I would just switch on the history. But my hatred of invasive profiling of internet users will triumph over my addiction. This I have no doubt about. So, and I didn’t think I would be saying this, thank you, Google, you have inadvertently saved a lot of time of my life. This might be a one off, but please be a force for good in the world as you promised in the infancy of your company.