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(Credit: Deagreez/iStockphoto)

Social media platforms like Facebook (iOS, Android) and Instagram (iOS, Android) have been working to curb smartphone addiction in users by installing timers in their apps.

YouTube (Android, iOS) is jumping on the digital-wellness bandwagon by adding a "Time Watched" feature for smartphones and tablets. The feature is directed at all users, kids and adults.

"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," YouTube said on its blog Monday.

SEE: YouTube's mobile app can now reduce notification spam and set reminders to take a break

Using "Time Watched" is pretty straightforward:

  1. Open your YouTube app.
  2. Tap your profile picture in the top left corner.
  3. Tap the "Time Watched" button in the menu.

"Time Watched" will display how long you've watched videos today, yesterday, and the past week. This might be comforting, or terrifying.

The new tool also lets you set up time limits in YouTube, so you're not losing an hour watching alien conspiracy theories or huskies saying "I love you." You can set up the time limit in settings.

  1. Tap your profile picture icon again in the YouTube app.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Tap "Remind Me To Take A Break."

Enter a time that seems reasonable for you. Once you've spent that time, a reminder will appear on your screen. The timer only runs when you're watching videos though. If you pause or close the video, the timer stops. The timer resets if you close the app, log out, switch accounts or devices, or pause a video for longer than 30 minutes.

It's also tempting, once you've found a channel you love, to set notifications keep up with every video. The new feature lets you save all the push notifications, only receive one a day, and set a specific time to get the rest of them.

  1. Tap your profile picture in the YouTube app.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Tap Scheduled Digest and select a time that works for you.

While on the topic of notifications, YouTube has a sort of "Do Not Disturb" now to help you to keep from grabbing at your device every few moments. The change will let all notifications come to your smartphone without buzzing or sound from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., so you can get a good night sleep. Like the other features, setting this one up is quick and easy.

  1. Go to your profile picture in the YouTube app.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Tap Disable sounds and Vibrations and pick your preferred start and end times.

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Takeaways

  1. YouTube's "Time Watched" feature is ready to help fight smartphone addiction in kids and adults.
  2. The feature includes calculating how long you've watched videos, setting time limits, delaying notifications, and setting a "do not disturb" mode.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.