Makeover Monday | Week 34 | 2019: Americans touch their smartphones 2,617 times a day

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I recently finished the book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. It’s brilliant and has led to a lot of re-evaluation on how I use technology, how I connect with people and who I stay in touch with. It also led to me deleting the last true social media app off my phone: Strava.

No Facebook (I don’t have an account), no Instagram (ditched it in March and haven’t felt a single ounce of regret), and while I still have LinkedIn, Strava and Twitter, I don’t have the apps on my phone. WhatsApp is gone as of last Friday as well. Yup, it’s liberating and there’s still plenty to be done until things are shaped the way I want them to be :-).

And then yesterday I looked for a dataset for Makeover Monday and stumbled across this comprehensive article (and the underlying research) on smartphone use by American teens and their parents.

The original viz we’re making over this week looks like this:

What works well:

  • Title is descriptive
  • Subtitle helps us understand the survey question format
  • Sections help guide the eye
  • Nice simple color scheme
  • Notes give additional information

What could be improved:

  • Who was surveyed and how many people participated?
  • What’s the response by those not listed? If 23% of teens sometimes lose focus and 8% often lose focus because they’re checking their phone, do the other 69% say they don’t lose focus? Or what were the other options? It feels incomplete.
  • Inconsistent formatting – % symbol is left out in the later questions
  • So what? Where do we go from here?

What I did:

  • On a recent work trip to Germany I noticed a lot of families in the airport (it being summer holidays and all that). And with that came a lot of parents on their phones, seemingly disconnected from their children who were also using a phone or tablet. It made me sad so I decided to focus on disconnected parents this week.
  • With the dataset being so small and me having a growing desire to improve my design skills for simple, bold statements, I opted to create a simple slide instead. I used google slides, because it has much more interesting fonts than those I have installed on my laptop.
  • So here is my viz:

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