Digital Discipline: Cutting Out Instagram and YouTube’s Time-Sink Features


“As an individual struggling with self-control, I often find myself inadvertently spending time on Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. Is there a method to disable or hide these features on mobile devices to prevent access and improve productivity?”


In the digital age, platforms like Instagram and YouTube have captivated millions with their short-form video content, known as Reels and Shorts, respectively. However, for those seeking to minimize distractions and enhance productivity, these features can be a significant hindrance. If you’re looking to disable or hide these elements on your mobile device, here are some strategies that might help.

  • Use YouTube’s Mobile Website

    : Access YouTube via your mobile browser and sign in. Navigate to the Shorts section and tap the “X” icon to hide it for 30 days.

  • Mark as ‘Not Interested’

    : In the YouTube app, tap the three dots on a Short and select “Not Interested” to temporarily remove it from your feed.

  • Downgrade the App

    : Consider using an older version of the YouTube app that predates the introduction of Shorts.

  • For Instagram Reels:

  • Hide Individual Reels

    : Tap on the three vertical dots on a Reel and select “Hide” to remove it from your feed.

  • Adjust Privacy Settings

    : Go to your profile settings, select Privacy, and then Reels. Here, you can disable the feature that recommends Reels on Facebook.

  • While these methods may not permanently eliminate Reels and Shorts from your mobile experience, they can provide temporary relief and help you regain control over your screen time. It’s also worth exploring digital wellbeing features on your device, which can assist in managing app usage and maintaining focus on your daily tasks.

    Remember, technology should serve you, not the other way around. By taking proactive steps to manage your digital environment, you can create a space that supports your productivity and well-being.

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