Do you ever find yourself binge-watching on YouTube, Netflix, or any other site/app on which you view videos? It’s so easy to get lost in the content and then wonder where the time went.
To minimize this issue, turn off autoplay so that when you’re done watching one video, the next one doesn’t start automatically.
I’m not sure when Netflix or YouTube turned on this feature by default, but I know those services and others have studied this very carefully and found that when autoplay is on, people watch many more videos in a row than when it’s off. That is indisputable.
You can probably can confirm this from your own experience. I sure can.
“Hey, what just happened? How did I end up watching 10 videos?” Does that sound familiar?
Autoplay is a very powerful feature because it really makes it effortless to keep watching videos. It offers us the path of least resistance â€” not even a single click or tap is required to start the next video.
There are two ways that we could address this.
1. Practice Mindfulness: If you have autoplay turned on, practice mindfulness. There’s always a period between one video ending and the next one starting. In that span, you could ask yourself, “Do I really want to watch this next video?” Then hit “Cancel” if you don’t really want to. More power to you!
2. Turn Off Autoplay by Default: This very easy to do with any of these services. Go to your settings and simply turn autoplay off. When a video is finished playing, you will have to consciously select and click on the next one before it starts playing. I guarantee that you will be less likely to watch more videos that way. Why do I recommend this? Studies have shown that it’s very effective in decreasing the number of videos people watch mindlessly. Speaking for myself, even with autoplay turned off, I find the temptation can be so strong to tap on the next video sitting right there. That is hard enough to work against!
What I love about this tip is that it’s so simple to implement. It’s a one-time thing â€” you just go in and change the settings, and it applies forever. I also like the fact that most people can feel very liberated when this is done.
On YouTube, Netflix, or any other app you use, turn off autoplay and have fun seeing how many fewer videos you watch mindlessly.