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Spotify Wrapped shows once again how much we love roundups

It is nice when an app does the hard work for us. 

 

Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

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This Week On The Internet

Analysis

It’s December, which means that we only have a couple of weeks (at most) before a lot of people begin mentally checking out for the rest of the year.

Social media turns into a collage of people’s trips and family gatherings. Emails go unread. Naturally, it’s a great time for reflection, which is why lists and roundups are so popular.

As Gavia wrote about earlier this week, Spotify Wrapped informed people about their mental state in 2022. It also led, as usual, to a lot of memes about if Wrapped existed for other platforms and apps. Or if it could track the amount of time you spent on theories related to TV shows.

The sentiment is clear: we don’t like it when apps gather information about us, but we do like to know how many hours we spent listening to one artist or rewatching one TV show. Some of us chronicle our days in diaries or bulleted journals, but there’s a lot of information about our daily lives that we don’t document. So it is nice when an app does the hard work for us.

But data tracking is not always an accurate representation of who you are; for example, if you share an account with a family member, it throws off your algorithm. Still, the Spotify Wrapped drop this week led to people wondering why other popular apps, such as Netflix and YouTube, don’t offer detailed end-of-year roundups. Sure, we could look at our watch history and complete an assessment ourselves, but where’s the fun in that?

Why it matters

This year was chaotic for social apps. Instagram has changed into a platform for mostly shopping and Reels, leading some people to call it a dying app. Twitter is, well, currently undergoing a lot of changes due to its new leadership. And people continue to test out new platforms.

Receiving a personalized roundup of how we spent our time on any app is helpful because it reminds us how we use these apps, and in turn, encourages us to reevaluate how we spent our time on them. I’m personally in favor of more Wrapped-like features on other apps. As long as none of them tell me how long I spent scrolling.

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