We collect more data in our everyday life activities than we think we do.
For our Data class, we had to chose a topic and gather all the data of ourselves for a week. I decided to research my daily activities and habits including a trip I had to North Carolina. I wanted to make something tangible and feel as if I “kept” a diary throughout the week.
I started tracking the amount of hours I sleep each night. Sleeping between 7–8 hours has always been one of my goals since I don’t like sleeping so much but I’m aware of its importance and benefits. So I wrote down the times I went to bed and the times I woke up.
Living by myself brings a lot of challenges and the biggest one I face in New York is keeping healthy eating habits. So I documented everything I ate over the week (or I tried my best to do so). “Healthy” eating is under the standards I grew up with and I’ve been surrounded with all my life, so the categories are very personal. The leaves with the red edge are the “healthy” foods eaten in a day whereas the grey ones are the “unhealthy”. I also divided the healthy between natural and processed, I consider rice, certain pastas, honey, nuts, etc… to be healthy and necessary in my diet even though they are processed.
As I wrote below, my boyfriend and I have smoothies every morning, just another incentive to get us out of bed and it works! After some months we’ve realized that too sweet means too much orange juice, and a ripe banana will make it ten times better. After a few months of tradition, we consider the following quantities right to make the perfect morning smoothie.
Following with the good habits I tracked my physical activity. Even though I walk more than I’ve ever walked in my life by living in New York, I try to keep a workout routine to challenge my mind and body. There are some weeks where I do more and others less but this week my workout schedule and details are as shown in the chart. I drew as well another chart showing the intensity of each workout session, according to how I challenging I felt it was.
How much money I spend is an everyday struggle, New York seems to silently swallow money. I keep a budget spreadsheet in which I write all my expenditures so it was easier for me to track this. In the following chart I broke down the expenditures into the different categories of things I bought. Turns out I spent less than I thought I did after a weekend trip. But also realized I could be spending less in the “eating out” section.
The NYC subway will never stop amazing me; I can get anywhere I want at any time I want! Of course I’ve become familiar with the subway’s weekend route alterations, delays, construction, smells, etc… It doesn’t take long for someone to realize that even though its a 24 hour service that can get me far, it has a lot of flaws. Nonetheless, the subway is a peaceful time of my day where I can sit down and people-watch all the way to my destination. This is the amount of time I regularly spend on transportation.
This weekend, we rented a car and drove 11 hours from New York to North Carolina for a wedding. We crossed five different states, which is more than the total US states I’ve been in my life (I’ve been to many US cities within just a few states). The scenery of the drive was breathtaking, and my very first time in the South — another world!
I consciously avoided keeping track of my social media habits; it is harder for me to do so since I’m constantly messaging and almost unconsciously using my phone. Additionally, I get depressed knowing how much I use it and waste time online, and so I wanted to focus on more positive habits. However, I believe it would be important for me to track my online behavior so that I am aware of my situation with actual data. As I was keeping track of all my activities, I realized how much of them can be precisely measured and how much data is involved in myeveryday lives.