Youtube Addiction

Every day hundreds of millions of hours are spent watching Youtube, and on average a visiter will spend 40 minutes per session watching videos. Here are some tricks to stop Youtube from absorbing all your time.

Youtube RSS feeds

If there are channels that you like to watch, instead of visiting Youtube you can have the video come to you instead. This can be done with Youtube’s RSS feature. RSS is usually used to subscribe to blogs, but it also suits this purpose well. I prefer to use Pocket as my RSS reader (using IFTTT to subscribe to the RSS feed) because Pocket removes everything except the video, but you could use Instapaper or any RSS reader instead. If your RSS reader allows you to import many RSS feeds at once go to the Subscription manager and click the “Export subscriptions” button to get the .xml file. Otherwise if you can’t import the file, download it and change the “.xml” file extension to “.txt”, then search inside the document for the name of the Youtube channel and find the feed address that comes after it. Below is an example of what you will see with the address you need for subscribing to a channel in bold:

<outline text="Numberphile" title="Numberphile" type="rss" xmlUrl="https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCoxcjq-8xIDTYp3uz647V5A" />

You can also use a service called Feed Rinse where you can enter a feed address and filter what it will output depending on particular conditions. As an example, if there’s a technology review Youtube channel you like, but you’re not interested in Android, you can set it so that it only allows videos that don’t have Android in the title of the video. There a lot of options and you can get as advanced as you want. This can be a good way of reducing the number of videos you don’t want to watch from entering your inbox.

Feed Rinse is a buggy website (as of December 2016) so if you try to add a new feed and you can’t enter in the address manually, instead you need to make an OPML file. All you have to do is make a text file called “forFeedRinse.txt” and fill it in with this text:

<opml version="1.1">
<body><outline text=“Name of the Youtube channel" title="Name of the Youtube channel" type="rss" xmlUrl=“RSS feed address of the Youtube channel" /></body></opml>

Make sure you fill in the areas I left in bold with the appropriate data. You can read more about how to use Feed Rinse on their website.

The Youtube sidebar

Youtube’s sidebar is designed to hook you into watching more videos based on what Youtube already knows will make you want to click. The best way of avoiding this is to remove it all together. Of course Youtube has no setting to do this, but you can do it yourself using a browser extension. Download the appropriate extension for your browser:

Then look for a place where you can paste this style code:

#watch7-sidebar-contents {display: none;}

That should make the sidebar which appears on the right when watching a video disappear entirely.

Stop visiting Youtube.com

Many people click on Youtube in their bookmarks bar or type it in the address bar without even noticing they’ve done it. This makes it important that you stop yourself from being able to do it without some thought. This can be easily fixed. All you need to do is remove Youtube from your bookmarks and log out of your account.

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