Happy New Year! Apologies for my recent writing hiatus, but the past month has been quite busy and exciting (perhaps I can delve in more in a future post). But I’m back and hoping to write more consistently in 2021.
In my last post, Part 1 of the YouTube Moderation Toolbox, I delved into some practical strategies for moderation. I wanted to brainstorm some specific, actionable, and possibly outside-the-box ideas that you may not have considered before. In this post, I’ll be adding a few more tools to our toolbox. Again, please experiment and employ what works for you!
4. Institute a Digital Sabbath/Fast
Practical strategy: Pick a day of the week to fast/rest from YouTube (I recommend Sunday). If possible, use a content blocking app such as Freedom to make accessing YouTube impossible.
Reasoning: YouTube promises us rest after long, stressful days and satisfaction with its never-ending supply of interesting, exciting content. But, of course, we know it fails to deliver either. Rather than refreshing or satiating our souls, YouTube binges leave us more tired and empty than when we started.
I like to think of the terms Digital Sabbath and Fast as two sides of the coin, even though they result in the same action — a day of the week without YouTube. A digital Sabbath can remind us that true rest is found in the Lord; while a digital fast can remind us that only God can satisfy our hungry souls.
Don’t think of this day as merely deprivation. Actively plan to do things that are truly restful and restorative to your soul. Spend extended, unhurried time with the Lord. Take time to reflect and take inventory of your heart. Spend time with friends and family. Pursue recreation and hobbies that may take more time and effort than the instant gratification of Internet entertainment but are ultimately more rewarding.
5. Utilize the Watch Later Playlist
Practical strategy: Don’t watch a YouTube Video until you’ve added it to the Watch Later Playlist. Place a time-limit to wait before you can watch the video in your Watch Later playlist.
Reasoning: Financial advisors will often advise you to leave something in your cart for 24 hours before making a purchase. The idea is that through waiting, we can avoid impulse buys.
What if we took that same logic and applied it to YouTube? If time is money, how can we avoid spending all our time on mindless YouTube watching? One way is to leave our YouTube videos in a virtual shopping cart, the Watch Later playlist, and wait a specified period of time before allowing ourselves to watch.
This strategy is similar to the YouTube log in the previous post. It adds an extra step between feeling the pull to click on a video and actually doing so. This allows for more awareness, instead of acting on impulse. I’ve found that when I place a video in my Watch Later playlist and return to it later, I often no longer have the urge to watch that video. And the videos I do watch, I do so with more intentionality.
6. Speed Up Your Videos
Practical Strategy: Watch your videos at 1.5-2x speed.
Reasoning: I’ll admit it, this seems like a bit of a goofy solution, but the practical benefits are clear: if you watch your videos at 2x speed, you can halve your YouTube watch time. That 12 minute vlog turns into 6 minutes; the 25 minute in-depth tech review becomes a more manageable 12.5 minutes. I first came across this idea from YouTuber, Ali Abdaal, who consumes everything from podcasts to anime at 2x speed. This is a simple, easy way to power through your subscriptions, provided it doesn’t lead you to consume more and more videos.
I hope you’ve found something practical to use from these six tools. For those of you reading, are there are any other strategies I didn’t mention that have worked for you? I know this list is far from exhaustive. I have a few more posts queued up on YouTube moderation, so keep an eye out for those.
Until next time!
All posts in the YouTube Moderation series: