While too much screen time can have negative effects on our well-being, technology can also act as a mirror, giving us a chance to take an honest look at ourselves and reflect on the patterns we perpetuate. In fact, research shows that we are more honest online than we are in person—because no matter how hard we try, we can’t hide from our past Google searches, stored instantaneously on our phones.
On average, one person’s annual data footprint is just short of a terabyte.1 With that much of our lives being collected through our devices, is it possible our phones know more about us than we do? That was one of the questions at front of mind when we set out to make Collecting You. This original documentary, created in partnership with Sprint, explores how reclaiming and examining our digital data can help us live better.
The story centers around Pete Adams, a 22-year-old creative type looking to find himself in New York City. Over a period of 35 days, Pete’s data was collected by a custom app, Mappiness 2.0, developed by PSYT, a London-based research company that aims to improve well-being through technology. The app tracked nearly 200,000 data points across a variety of themes, including emotions, sleep, relationships, activities, location, technology use, and more. At the end of this mobile experiment, Pete braved a data-driven intervention in which he learned his results. Was his data the key to his happiness? Or not…? Watch and find out.
1 Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel, Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture (New York: Riverhead Books, 2013).