Facebook has got to be, without a doubt, the most boring website I've ever been on. And yet there are enough people out there who spend so much time on the site that it warranted the launch of time-management tools to point it out. Those tools are hitting both Facebook and Instagram today, for any of you that somehow manage to find ways to waste hours on a site designed for poking people and looking at strangers' holiday photos.
According to the company, it wants time spent on Facebook and Instagram to be "positive and inspiring" - neither of which are terms you'd generally associate with social media in any form. The idea is also to give people more control over the time they spend with both services, since they clearly lack the willpower to do it themselves, and "foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that are right for them."
The tools in question are:
- An activity dashboard which shows you statistics of your recent usage
- A daily reminder that tell you when you've reached a preset limit, encouraging you to go and get away from the device and do something else.
- Muting notifications, so you don't get distracted by people liking your photo of the grilled quinoa smoothie you had for breakfast. This has a timer on it, so it's not just a manual on/off switch.
The tools are available in the settings page on both services, with Instagram's hiding in the 'Your Activity' section and Facebook's in 'Your Time on Facebook'. So if you have problems staying away from whatever bit of Facebook or Instagram keeps luring you in, now you have some tech to keep you away from it. As for occupying that new-found free time, you're on your own. Maybe pick up a book?