Facebook launches tool to tackle social media addiction


Facebook announced new tools Wednesday created to help users manage their time online, amid concerns from mental health experts about potential overuse. The new feature doesn't tell you how much of your time is spent actively participating in social media-posting, liking, and interacting-and how much is spent passively scrolling content, or what some have dubbed "passive zombie feed scrolling". On Instagram, tap "Your Activity", and on Facebook, select "Your Time on Facebook".

The tools will let people set themselves time limits for using the apps, mute notifications temporarily and view a dashboard showing their use.

In a blog post, the company said that it wants users to have more "control" over the time they engage on the platform. They also hope the tools will foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that are right for them.

The tools will be accessible on the Settings page within each app.

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These tools were developed based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, Facebook's extensive research, and feedback from its community. Tap any bar to see your total time for that day. There's nothing stopping you from swiping this away and continuing to look at endless corgi pictures, but if you've got enough self-control, it could be the reminder you need to put the phone down and do something else with the rest of your day.

In June, for example, Apple Inc. introduced "Screen Time", an activity report that will show how much time users are spending on individual apps and how often they pick up their iPhones.

A poll by Sky Data last week revealed that just 1% of people believe that platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram make bullying less of a problem among children.

"It's our responsibility to talk openly about how time online impacts people - and we take that responsibility seriously", stated Facebook.