Sample Screenome Analysis

Sample Screenome Analysis

An analysis of smartphone usage by two adolescents over one month shows what can be learned from a screenome analysis that cannot be learned from traditional surveys of media use.

Smartphone screenomes for two adolescents over 21 days are illustrated in the figure.  The top half of the figure shows Participant A, the bottom half Participant B.  Each row represents a day, starting from 6 am on the left and going to midnight on the right. Smartphone use from midnight to 5:59am has been deleted for this illustration.  The vertical bars indicate whether the smartphone screen was on during each 5-second interval of each day, and the type of application that was engaged during each interval.  Applications are coded into 10 categories:

The data in the two large panels highlight how smartphone use varies substantially between the two people, and between days and hours within each person.  For example, Participant A on the top had more and shorter sessions, and spent more time on social media (red lines).  Participant B on the bottom had fewer and longer sessions and spent more time watching video (purple lines).

The two larger horizontal lines “zoom in” on (magnify) a 2-hour period at the end of a day for each participant, starting at 10 pm on the left and going to midnight on the right.  The white vertical lines indicate screens where the participant was generating content (e.g., composing a text message, posting on social media).  For Participant A, there was quick switching between different types of applications in the first 15 minutes followed by and extended period using social media (red) and game play (green), followed at the end of the night by quick switching between social and several other types of content.  For Participant B, there were extended periods watching video (purple) and playing games (green) in the first 90 minutes, followed by quick switching mixed with substantial creation of content in the last 30 minutes.  The comparison between these two participants is also summarized in Reeves, et al., Nature, January 2020 (in press).   A more complete discussion of adolescent smartphone data can be found in Ram, et al., Journal of Adolescent Research, 2019.