Tori's 24-hour Data Disclosure
Updated: Sep 21, 2022
Welcome to my 24-hour data disclosure for Sunday, September 11, 2022. I chose to document an average Sunday, which is the day I catch up on work research and complete most of the homework for my university courses, because I am in the newsroom Monday through Friday each week. I did take more time than I typically do to rest this weekend - digitally and physically. Through an exploration of my personal data privacy and security, I will detail how I use media and what kind of information I provide while engaging in that activity.
Note: This exercise, similar to my 24-hour media diet post, is an assignment for students in a Arizona State University course on digital media literacy. The class is part of a new degree the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is offering, taught by News Co/Lab staff.
9 a.m.: Wake up and click on Twitter from my iPhone. I know I've recently changed my security settings on Twitter after initiating backup codes and two-factor authentication for access to my account this summer. I have several notifications turned on for my most trusted news organizations and a DM from a friend, who I made in university. I don't click on any of the stories sent throughout the night, so I feel protected from algorithms in this initial and brief social media check. But, I understand that Twitter may be collecting data from me - about the hours of my use habits, the duration of time I am scrolling, among other things. (Generally, I make very limited use of Meta products, including Instagram and Facebook, to avoid the advertising ecosystem.) Then, I snooze the next alarm, returning to sleep.
10:30 a.m.-11 a.m.: I am on my text messages app, which is considered a "social" application, indicated by the blue portions of Apple's Screen Time breakdown. Then, I look for new posts or interactions on BeReal and respond to some new LinkedIn messages of support from people in my professional network. The former engagement will give LinkedIn reason to push extra posts to my home screen because I understand most apps to extract data about use habits, specifically time of day and time spent on each module or page. (I think I have adjusted the notification settings to a minimal amount for LinkedIn. BeReal notifications often glitch, and I don't know much about the data its parent company collects because it is so new.)
12 p.m..: I turn on Spotify to keep me moving through my morning routine in the lavatory. I believe Apple's hourly media tracking analysis considers the music streaming platform an "entertainment" application, so I encourage you to look at the orange bars in my screenshot below. I've been waiting for my curated feed on the Spotify mobile version to update all week, as the six playlists I've been listening to have not been, and still are not, an accurate reflection of what I'm listening to. This is problematic because it means that I need to take more time - granted I'm talking about one click and a few extra seconds - to search for those newly made playlists when I want to revisit them. I wonder if Spotify's algorithm is glitching, or if they are intentionally pushing a podcast I listened to only once and premade mixes I unliked lately onto me again. As I make coffee, I actively browse my Slack channels for messages relevant across my Workspaces to the work I hope to make progress on this afternoon. I also check my academic email, hosted through Alphabet's Gmail at this time - an action I will continually have throughout the day. There are so many different options on all Google products you can modify, such as account settings and notification preferences... I often feel like I learn of a new data measure the company's recording every time I examine mine. So, this morning like many others, I do not play with those personalizations. (It appear my most recent change to Google's security recommendations was made on Sept. 2 when I gave Gcal access to my Zoom account.)
1 p.m.: I am using Spreadsheets, Chrome and Slack on my computer for working productivity. (To my knowledge, the Screen Time on my computer is gathered separately on my Macbook.) I use the timer on my clock app to track the time of my coding inputs, which is considered "productivity and finance," or the teal segments. I certainly take brain breaks, filtering through the day's Twitter content and infrequent Snapchat conversations.
3 p.m.: I watch an episode of The Crown while I eat the lunch I just cooked. This action shows up as "entertainment," again. And I check my text messages, Slack and socials.
Around 4 p.m.: The same as activities from 1 p.m. (See above.) At one point, I open Discord because I want a notification from my Cronkite Foreign Affairs and International Reporting club chat to disappear. I end up reading the article a pupil sent from inside the Reuters app to which I the link redirected me. Next, I turn to reading articles for this course on my computer, meaning I am hardly on my phone.
8 p.m.: The same as 3 p.m. I am watching Snapchat news series, including Now This: Who Is? and Late Night with Seth Meyers, from my iPhone, while I eat dinner. I know that Meta is mining my application data while I do this. But, that concept only slightly bothers me because I am rarely inclined to communication with people in my life via Snapchat. The time difference between the East Coast and Arizona is significant. Following nourishment, I return to this class assignment and my remaining media engagements begin to populate under the data for Monday. I take out my copy of Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth to read before sleeping. (Here is some historical context about the book.)
Time to reflect...
While I am largely not reconsidering how I interact with media now, I did find this activity valuable. A few takeaways:
On, at least, five occasions this evening, I clicked on the "Accept Cookies" button that the website for many news organizations automates. I did so with the intent to continue reading, but I also paused briefly to consider what that may mean for my device, such as clearing the cache, etc. Should I be asking further questions about that consent I gave the pages?
I did not perform online shopping today, though I do that from my phone on occasion. When e-buying I always use Safari's private browser in an effort to evade the relentless digital ads for material goods that aspects of surveillance capitalism permit. Is that truly an effective method, or am I overestimating my precautionary measures?
While I did not leave the house much today - the exception being my walk at dusk - I often rely on Apple Maps to get me around to local coffee shops and restaurants. I can imagine this information encourages search suggestions, elevating establishments that I identify my interest in by means of a click. How does that function differ between iOS applications, which are built into the iPhone and can be deleted, and other navigation applications that I use when, say, I drive through cities, such as Waze?
Thanks for taking this journey with me through the depths of data accumulated on my cell phone! I hope that my own introspection was able to stimulate new questions you may have about your own media use - and what it all means in the context of digital wellness.
All the best,