I was digging around recently in my shitty phone’s memory to clear some space and found that all my incoming and outgoing text messages since I got the phone (Nov. 2009) were saved. Naturally, I extracted them as a big csv file, and analyzed it.
Here’s a tag cloud of all messages sent by me or received by me:
Looking at that cloud is pretty, uh, revealing. One would then think that all I do is get wasted and party all night. And my friends and I say “hey” alot. But, you know, they are text messages, so I don’t exactly use it for saying serious things. So, I redid the tag cloud, filtering out some of the more meaningless words.
That’s better, but it feels like most of those are boring logistics words. That isn’t very surprising, given that text messages are a mobile medium, but it’s not very personal or interesting. Also, it looks like either I don’t know how to spell tomorrow, or many of my friends can’t. In the next one, I’ve removed all of those, and other generic grammar words. I’m trying to get to the semantics of the messages I send and receive.
This feels much better. It looks like I say “…sorry…work…” a lot though. Okay, new year’s resolution right fucking now: no more apologizing in text messages because you have to go work. I’m pretty happy with all the other words. Improv is big in there. I find the presence of sleep pretty funny. Not sure what’s going on there.
I did further analysis on who I exchanged messages with and when. Here’s the graph of the top 12 messagers throughout the year:
This is anonymized, obviously. But you can probably figure out who you are. 50 messages in the last year is the magic cutoff to end up on the graph. This part was actually pretty intense to compile. I reviewed, in the form of text messages, how my friendships and relationships had ebbed and flowed over the past year. It was nostalgic and brought back all sorts of memories and reflections. Thanks for everyone who was part of my 2010 (a pretty good year, all things considered), and I hope that 2011 can be even more awesome.
– The dead zone in the middle of the graph is when I was in India.
– How did I get so antisocial in March, and then snap out of it? What’s the deal with that?
– Increased socialness this December was probably due to getting my wisdom teeth removed.