New Facebook and Instagram tools seek to curb your social media addiction

Two of the biggest social networks that contribute to time sucks are offering up services to help you wean yourself off of them.

For those of us who mindlessly scroll through our social media feeds, looking at who posted what becomes less of a fun pastime, and more of an addictive binging habit. Well now, two of the biggest social networks that contribute to this time suck — Facebook and Instagram — are offering up their services to help you wean yourself off of them.

This week, the companies officially announced that they were introducing new screen-time management tools to help us know how much time we spend on their apps, and give us nudges when we stay too long. The announcement follows Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promising to ensure “the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent” at the beginning of this year.

Instagram and Facebook will now let you know how much time you waste on them

On Instagram, you can soon tap “Your Activity,” and on Facebook, tap “Your Time on Facebook” to see a dashboard calculating how much time you are spending within the app. You can see the average amount of time you spend each day and each week, and if those numbers are shockingly high, you can also decide to do something about it. You can now curb your behavior through daily reminders that will notify you when you have gone past the allotted time you set for yourself. If you’re the type of person who cannot help but click when you get a push notification, you can also now disable these notifications for 15 minutes and up to eight hours.

“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,” Facebook and Instagram said in a joint statement. The updates are “rolling out soon,” the companies said.

Of course, if you want to go a step further with taking back control of your time, you can always delete the apps entirely.

Monica Torres|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at mtorres@theladders.com.