For me, self-data can be roughly categorized into two types. One is tightly associated with one’s social participation. Examples of self-data within this category could be one’s name, home address, email account, mobile phone number, etc.. While I consider the other type of self-data to be tightly associated with one’s emotions and feelings, which can sometimes be abstract. If the former type of personal data connects us with the larger society, the latter would be something that helps us understand ourselves and our relationship with people better.
I am interested in how our self-data reveals our behaviors, habits and our relationship with people we know. Based on this, I started my project of “analyzing” my WeChat chatting history with my mother.
Me and My Mom:
For the sake of my education, my parents sent me to a boarding school in another city. Since then, the time I spent at home has been gradually decreased. To connect with my family, I have used different types of technologies, from pay phones to cell phones without internet, to social media on smartphones.
It is interesting to think that nowadays, WeChat, which is the most popular chatting app in China, has become the most important tool that connects me to my mom.
I want to, by looking at the chatting history with my mother for over a year since October 2016, to get some insights about our relationship.
The data I decided to collect include:
- The frequency we chat (on which days we talked, how many times a month)
- Who initiates the conversation every time
- What were we mainly talking about
- Did we have a fight? If so, on what topic?
- Did we use any images?
- Did we use any emojis?
- Did we do video chat?
- Were there any money transactions?(WeChat allows users to transfer money to friends)
Here are the data results
I also made a web page out of it: