I’m Rameerez, the creator of digital startups like Hustl, Wakefy or Momoise, among others. I design, code and run all my products myself. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date and see behind the scenes!

Momoise

Jul 19, 2019  ·  4 min read

TL;DR: Momoise is a Chrome extension that blocks the distracting parts (like the feed) of the most time-wasting sites on the internet (like Twitter or Facebook) so you can save time, be productive and surf the web freely.

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Picture this.

You sit down one morning and plan to start working right away.

So you open up YouTube to play some nice background music.

It should be easy, right? Get on YouTube, search for music, play a video, get back to work.

But this is what you find:

And all of a sudden one of these tiny thumbnails catches your attention, you read the title and go like: “OMG are they really building a house using inclined bricks? ffs, they’re so stupid”. So now you need to check out the actual video to see how on Earth would anyone manage to build an actual house using inclined bricks. And you open it up, hoping that you’d find the answer within a couple of seconds, so you can quickly go back to looking for background music and then working.

But 9 minutes in, there’s been nothing about any bricks. Instead, you’ve been shown a series of short videos of people getting harmed by doing stupid things. Each short clip is better than the last one. You’re really enjoying it, you cant’ stop watching. You’re now hooked.

Next thing you know, it’s been an hour and a half watching videos. The recommendation engine showed you the life of contractors in Russia, which led you to very interesting videos about life in Asia, which led you to a very entertaining youtuber documenting their travels around several paradise islands in Southeast Asia, which ultimately ended up in a spiral of cat memes videos – because, let’s face it, the internet is all about cats and memes.

You were going to spend only a few seconds looking for background music, and yet you’ve wasted almost two hours of your life that you are never going to get back.

This used to happen to me very often. More times than I’m willing to admit.

One day, I decided to run some quick numbers and see how many hours could I possibly had wasted. And it was and ungodly amount of hours. I don’t remember the figure exactly, but it was in the hundreds. And I thought, what the actual fuck, if only if I had put those hours into doing something useful, like learning a new skill or reading books, I would almost be an expert by now.

An absurd amount of potential personal growth and potential goals wasted just because of a tiny thumbnail.

This made me want to understand how something so insignificant could possibly make me waste so much time (and therefore, money).

I read “Hooked” by Nir Eyal and discovered the actual mechanism why this works. Then I read about dopamine and the effects technology has on our brains. It was so interesting and it all made so much sense.

In a nutshell: we (humans) are replacing the dopamine generated by productive actions (like the feeling of self-realization after doing a purposeful piece of work) with the dopamine generated by artificially crafted pieces of content that are engineered to work almost like drugs. [Here’s a more detailed explanation]

This is an actual addiction. Like, being addicted to cat videos is chemically not very different to being addicted to cocaine.

But you can’t completely remove these websites and apps from your life. They’re useful to some extent – they can be use for good (like playing background music). I, at least, was not willing to completely stop using social media.

And then it hit me. If only if I could remove the bad parts of these websites – while maintaining the good parts intact… that would avoid me getting hooked by just opening YouTube and seeing the recommended videos.

The idea of Momoise was born.

Momoise is a Chrome extension that essentially does this: it hides the bad stuff while keeping the good stuff, so you can be productive and browse the web healthily.

Momoise blocking distractions on YouTube

It also estimates how much time it has helped you save (the average session on social media sites is about 10 minutes long, here’s the data)

Plus, it lets you show distractions on a per-session basis, so it can accurately measure how much time you’ve actually wasted by not letting Momoise do its job.

The Momoise personal dashboard, showing wasted time and its origin

Turns out a ginormus amount of people around the world are somehow addicted to social media. The average internet user wastes more than two hours a day (!!!) on these sites. That’s a shocking ~1.000 hours a year.

And turns out reducing this amount of distractions has other kind of benefits, like repairing your attention span, reducing stress and anxiety levels and improving your overall mental health.

I don’t know, it’s not because I made it but it’s helped me. A lot.

I now can work for 6 hours straight, and I’ve noticed how I’m no longer turning my head to Reddit or Twitter when the current task at hand does not motivate me.

It’s no miracle – the first times you’ll be tempted to display the distractions and get back to the old bad habits. But the amount of hours saved (and the count of time wasted) really keeps me going. And one thing is for sure – it gets increasingly easier every passing day.

Hope you find it useful too!

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