in dear data

Week 5: Tracking Social Media Usage

I’m a person who is constantly on social media, checking for updates or something to entertain me. I don’t like spending my time doing absolutely nothing because I feel that, that time can be used to my advantage, for instance educating myself by reading articles or improving my sense of taste by scrolling through aesthetically pleasing photos on instagram. Yet years of being so constantly engaged with the world wide web has indeed taken some negative effects on me, I began to realise scrolling through large amounts of information was not helping me improve, or be a better person. To put it simply, instantaneous information just wasn’t cutting it. The ‘instant’ world was not helping me. Instead, I’ve learnt to give myself ample time to be in my own ‘headspace’ and learn to formulate thoughts within me, only seeking the world wide web for inspiration when I have the ability and energy to absorb what it’s willing to offer.

I’ve come to realise that my interaction with the social media world is rather ‘ritualistic’, i stick to a certain schedule and i check social media rather periodically (i.e. almost every 30 mins) given that I’m quite concerned about time even in my daily life. Hence, I decided to represent the time of the day into intervals of 30mins, with each dot representing a half an hour. Hence, each day contains 48 dots in an outward spiral manner. Then, within each dot, i record the most prominent social media activity that i have used in that half an hour. I actually see a pattern from my data: The type and duration of social media that i use usually depends on time of the day, my mood and event of the day. For instance, I usually start the day by watching a youtube video or replying my whatsapp messages. In the evening when i have classes, I tend to be chatting with my friends on whatsapp. Later in the night while commuting home, I like to either listen to music or read dayre to learn about other people’s day, an online platform that acts like an instant diary/blog. At night, when i feel bored, I like to go on instastory to check out what people are doing at night. Also, if i tend to be meeting my friends, I’m either off social media or I would be on Spotify, listening and sharing music with the friend I’m with as a way of bonding.