Media consumption, what a mess

Before I started recording everything I thought I was a very predictable creature of habits. Two snow storms and 12 days later, this is not that clear to me anymore. There are still some evident truths: I spend a LOT of time not only staring at my computer but also typing, gesturing, scribbling, coding, reading,… on it.

  • Here is what I did: I recorded all my browser activity during 12 days. I choose to do the media diary like this for several reasons:
  • the computer and specifically my browser is where I spend most of my time consuming media
  • I use my phone a lot to get notifications but unless I am on the go which was rare those past days, I read and interact with those on my computer
  • getting consistent and reliable tracking is possible on the computer
  • finally, my browser reflect best what I am doing as I do most things in there anyway (except watching movies and series which I recorded separately, and they amount for a total of 9h30 of movies and 8h40 of TV series)

That’s the why, here is how.

Found a Chrome extension that records some time stats then modified it to get more granular and accurate record to be able to see when a webpage is not only open but I am active on it (reading, scrolling, clicking, typing,…). And then took all of this data and created some nice graphs. You can find all the interactive graphs HERE if you want to play a bit more with the data.

Here is what I found interesting:

  • I spend a lot of time on that thing. Keep in mind that all the numbers are time active so when I am interacting with the computer. It doesn’t count all the gaps of attention or loading times. Compared to the 18h10 spent watching movies or series, I find this almost reassuring that I spend three times as much time being active and productive on the computer).


  •  I spend most of my time on Facebook or coding. This might be explained by the fact that Facebook is now my primary mean of communication and also that coding is what I do for fun.


  • Regarding my news consumption, I got to record what I thought originally: most of my news sources are from social media except the very few news website I visit on a daily basis. I even looked at twitter to get a general sense of news instead of drilling into full articles when the subject was not important enough. If Facebook is opened and active most of the time, many other actions are pretty random during the day, but news reading occurs strictly if there has been some intense activity on my social media walls.


  • Finally, I looked at the actual active time to see how productive I was and which websites were captivating most of my attention. The colors speak for themselves, even if I check news websites, I spend more time on Facebook or on my email in those single period. My activity is a lot of multitasking and my attention is very unfocused, on the computer but also with things outside of my computer (I am at most 35% focus on any browser activity at a given time).


 Thank you for taking the time to read until here and once again feel free to play with the graphs HERE.

1 thought on “Media consumption, what a mess

  1. Charles, great insights from your analysis. I think browser activity is a good way for capturing media consumption for people who spend a lot of time on computers and related media. How did you measure productivity?

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