Digital Habits, or, “I get it, I’ll put down my phone”

For starters, a lot of these numbers will probably come off as skewed. I got a new phone around Spring Break, and I still haven’t set the screen to close after two minutes of inactivity. So some of these times might be a few moments longer than my actual usage.

But, excuses out of the way, I used QualityTime to track my phone habits. It monitors the time spent on each application, the frequency with which apps are open for the day, and the total number of screen unlocks. For ease of reading, I only lifted the daily usage screens from the app, showing the total time my phone was “in use.” My main qualm with the app is that it doesn’t allow the user to export the data in an .xlsx or .xml, because I would have enjoyed making the charts in Excel and sizing them how I wanted.

That being said, I’ll break each day down with what happened that day to push some applications ahead of others.

Monday- Livestreaming WCRD Live at Five off of my phone, which means using the Facebook app. Usually I use Chrome to access the mobile Facebook page, but I need the app to use Facebook Live. As for Plague Inc, I like having a few games every now and then. It’s cathartic.
Tuesday looks a bit more normal. Chrome is used for Facebook, as well as voice commands. Snapchat is pathetically addicting, and that’s probably a mainstay of a lot of people my age.
Wednesdays are notoriously stressful to me. I use my voice assistant to schedule appointments on the fly, and even though I build up so much stress about TCOM 324, I end up on Twitter and my message app.
Thursday seems like the quintessential day in terms of time. Snapchat sticks out to me- I feel like, though I open it often, I read/respond so quickly that barely a minute goes by. Instagram, however, seems a little off. I tend to use Chrome to check Instagram, because the native app doesn’t work on the Ball State wi-fi. Although, I believe I may have published a picture that day, so I would’ve needed to use data and spend time on the app.
Instagram coming in before Twitter? I’m not so sure about that. looking at all of these days, I feel like I’m on Twitter more than at least Message+ and Instagram. Maybe Snapchat beats it out, if I get bored enough to actually look at stories.
Got bored, needed to infect the world again with Plague Inc. I was also on a shoot this day, only for my subjects to leave me in a basement for about an hour without them. My phone came in handy to kill boredom, as well as to check the MITS schedule to make sure I wouldn’t have to Uber back home.

I get it. I’ll try to get off my phone. But, in my defense, I have so much on my phone that keeps my day going- from my Google Calendar to spreadsheets to photosphere apps.

I’d also go to note that Qualitytime measures time of whatever app is on top. I love listening to podcasts, so I always have Podcast Addict running in the background, but rarely open it each day. I must’ve listened to nearly eight hours of podcasts that week. I’m really getting into Crimetown from Gimlet, and probably went through five episodes of that, on top of my usual weekly listens to Spontaneanation, Hard Nation and Planet Money.

I’ll work on it. but i’d say it’s on-par with everyone my age, judging by how often I see other people on their phones.


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