New Time Management Features on Facebook and Instagram Help Users Monitor Usage

December 4, 2018
Posted in Blog
December 4, 2018 zSocialExpert

It’s no secret that society is overly consumed with smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices. Social media is like a Shop Vac – it sucks you in and makes it nearly impossible to get out. To help you monitor the amount of time you are spending in social media apps, Instagram and now Facebook, are implementing “Your Activity”  and “Your Time on Facebook” features. These new tools, though announced nearly 4 months ago, allow users to track their level of activity (time spent) in each app daily. Instagram rolled out the Your Activity feature in mid-November, while Facebook was a couple of weeks behind and are bringing out the big guns right before the end of the year.

How does it work?

It’s actually really neat! Those with Facebook or Instagram accounts can look over their time spent throughout the week, view day-to-day totals, receive an average quote of the time spent in the app, as well as set a notification that will pop-up when they have hit their desired limit of social media usage (ie. 45 minutes, 2 hours, etc.). There is also an option for users to schedule time for breaks so they will be encouraged to pause from their continuous scrolling. The goal is to help “foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that are right for them,” but let’s be real. This is an issue people of all ages are having – they are addicted to social media and spend too much time using social apps.

How do you find these features?

It’s simple! On Instagram, go to your profile page (where you can view all of your own photos, your bio, etc.) click the top right icon with 3 horizontal lines, choose ‘Your Activity,’ and you’re on your way to managing your time!

On Facebook, click on the Overflow icon (three bars) located in the bottom navigating bag next to the Notification icon (a bell), and scroll until you see the “Your Time on Facebook” option. Similar to Instagram, there will be a chart that shows you daily time spent, and then averages for a week long period.

Please note: This feature should be available to all Instagram users. If you do not see it, make sure you have the latest version of the app installed. If you do not see the time management tool on Facebook, don’t stress. Facebook is in the process of rolling out this feature to all users by the end of 2018. (Just in time to help you succeed in your “limit time spent on social media” New Year’s Resolutions!)

Is the tracking accurate?

The programs come with some flaws, but over all, users are digging the updates. The few complaints include:

  • The feature only tracks one device at a time. For example, it doesn’t account for time also spent using the app on your phone + time on your tablet + time of your laptop.
  • The tools don’t track Facebook Messenger or IGTV.
  • The apps can’t combine time spent on social media. The totals are per app, meaning if your total across all social platforms (namely Instagram and Facebook) is 1 hour, you’d have to set a 30-minute/30-minute limit in each app.

According to the Journal of Mental Health, increased social media use results in feelings of inadequacy, increased depression and anxiety, and a negative impact on quality social relationships – among other things. In moderation, the apps can be very beneficial, and that is why Facebook and Instagram are making efforts to keep it a healthy environment for all users.

Tell us what you think

Will you be using these features? What do you think of this concept of helping with time management? We’d love to hear from you – leave a reply below.

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