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Why Staring at Your Phone May Be Good for Your Friendships

Why Staring at Your Phone May Be Good for Your Friendships Vanessa Naylon

As technology has become more deeply integrated into our daily lives, we’ve grown increasingly accustomed to the benefits. Our social lives now have a distinct virtual dimension, and data drives everything from the products we find on supermarket shelves to the health-monitoring of our four-legged friends. When online dating apps like OKCupid entered the scene, they revolutionized the way we form relationships. But only recently has personal data expanded beyond the realm of data scientists and into the next frontier, enabling the user to analyze technological habits in order to optimize engagements in the physical world.

We’re seeing more and more apps attempt to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds we live in. Like dating app Happn, which uses location data to match users with people they’ve crossed paths with. Or PVLL, the new mobile messaging app that graphs conversation patterns, automates texting, and pulls users’ messaging data in order to ‘hack the online dating game’. And with customizable survey apps like Reporter and Expereal placing data in the hands of the consumer, nearly every aspect of life is now measurable and optimizable–from relationships to caffeine consumption to overall happiness.

Integrating mobile data into daily activities like relationship building adds a previously unexplored coaching element to compliment the connection-based apps where we’ve been flexing our social muscles for years. This wave of new data visualization apps is not only an example of big data becoming small, but it has the potential to erase the stress we encounter in virtual interactions and to provide insight into previously unmeasurable aspects of our lives.

We’re interested in exploring this new era of data visualization as a lifestyle enhancement feature, so we've deployed the 140 Proof team to test these data viz tools and report back with our findings on how they enhance the lifestyle of the 'quantified self'.

Vanessa Naylon is a creative strategist who helps brands build award-winning campaigns in social. Vanessa was the original writer and creative strategist at 140 Proof and has worked on hundreds of social ad campaigns since 2009, including ESPN's...

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