The new feature—only available on select Android devices and currently limited to adult profiles—lets you choose between four settings: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or the end of the show. The app will stop at the end of the timer; observers say a viewing break will extend battery life on devices and give your brain a rest.
“If people want to limit the time they stream, timers are very valuable,” Paul Levinson, a professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University, said in an email interview. “If a streaming TV series is good, it will be difficult to turn away from it and do something else. Too much media consumption can leave not enough time for work, chores, and other essential activities.”
With so much time at home this past year due to the pandemic, the amount of screen time has increased for many adults, Meghan Marcum, chief psychologist at mental health treatment center A Mission for Michael, said in an email interview. “If the new normal becomes a routine, it can mean less time interacting with friends and family,” she added.