Do I use my phone responsibly or addicted?
Research Question and Audience
Ever since the smartphones have been introduced to us, they became an indispensable tool as they occupy a huge space in our daily life. Whether we want to connect with friends or strangers across the globe, to use them as a medium of entertainment or merely as a device of communication among other things, we rely heavily on them. It’s from this perspective that I decided to analyze my phone data to see if I use my phone responsibly or I’m deemed a phone addicted based on a predefined benchmark. This study can also serve to draw a line on what is considered phone addiction to alert smartphone users.
What is a healthy amount of screen time for adults? A study conducted by RescueTime and eMarketer shown that people on average spend around 3 hours 15 minutes and 3 hours and 43 minutes respectively on their mobile devices. The top 20% of smartphone users spend more than 4.5 hours on their phones during weekdays (https://elitecontentmarketer.com/screen-time-statistics/).
I looked at my phone data for the month of October and realized that I spend on average 3 hours and 10 minutes per day on my phone. Apparently, I spend a reasonable amount of time on my phone based on those studies. But does it happen during the weekday or weekend or when I’m home, school or work? This inquisitiveness led me to this research question: “In which capacity, day, and the app category I’m spending the most time on my phone?
I wanted to dive even deeper to see if there is a relationship between the time spent on my phone and the other variables from the dataset, variables such as “Weather”, prompting to this research sub-question: “Can we also establish a relationship between the time spent on my phone and the other variables?”
Data Collection and Visualization
I collected 4-weeks of my phone screen time data to gauge the total time spent on each app and the day of week that happened the most. The most used apps from my phone were grouped into five (5) categories from my phone:
- Productivity and Finance
The variables included in my visualization are the following:
- Time Spent (Time spent by apps category)
- Apps Category (The five categories mentioned above)
- Day (Weekday and weekend)
- Capacity (where do I use my phone the most? At school, work, or home?)
The use of bar and line charts for the visualization was the best choice to represent the data and address the question. The bar charts showcase what apps category (discrete value) I spent the most time on in combination of where or in what capacity (discrete value) and which day (discrete value) of the week that occurs. The line charts on the other hand, intended to draw a connection between the weather and the time spent on my phone.
From the visualization, we can infer that there is no relationship between the weather and time spent on my phone. It’s fascinating how I was able to capture the answer to my research questions with just one click.
I think, one of the shortcomings of this research is the lack of the computer screen time in the dataset. It would have been interesting to compare phone vs. computer screen time to gauge the overall time spent per day. In other words, the ability to broaden this study to include computer screen time data could take this project to the next level.