Your internet year in review: See how you spent time online in 2018
How much music did you listen to and video did you stream? Here's how to find out
Screwing around on the internet is awesome. In fact, you’re doing it right now. Pretty great, right? But the end of another year is upon us, which means it’s time to look back at how we spent our precious time on earth since last year. Some sites and apps we use frequently put out year-end features to show you your most popular posts, or how you spent your time. Others bury that information deep under many links to keep you from realizing how much of your life force you’ve shoveled through a screen and into the never ending cycle of content consumption. Either way, here are some ways to look back at your year-end usage stats for popular apps and services in 2018. Fair warning: It might get a little ugly.
The most fun—and potentially embarrassing—year-end wrap up comes from Spotify, which built a handy little microsite and two curated playlists to commemorate the end of the year. If you go into your playlists, you’ll find a queue of your top 100 songs for the year, as well as a Taste Breakers playlist that suggests stuff outside your normal listening patterns that it thinks you might like. The playlist above is composed of songs from PopSci staffer most-played lists.
If you go to Spotifywrapped.com you can see a more in-depth look at your year of jams. It tells you how much time you spent listening, what types of artists you typically choose, and even the most common astrological sign among your favorite artists. Mine was “Libra.”
The big blue social network had a tough year full of scandals regarding compromised user data, election tampering, and relatives who insist on adding you and leaving embarrassing comments on every single thing you post. Facebook’s traditional year-end ritual involves using AI to generate a video that includes your posts that got the most interaction from your friends. It probably already rolled through your feed if you’ve signed in during December, but you can also go and find it at any time on your Memories page.
If you want a broader look at what was happening on Facebook this year, the company has an official blog post about its year in review. According to FB, the number one most talked about “moment” was International Women’s Day (which also topped the list in 2017). The soccer World Cup also generated 2.3 billion posts, comments, and reactions. Goal!
The analytics tab in your Twitter account gives you mini-summaries of your top tweets by various metrics on a month-to-month basis, so you can click this link and see a rundown of your best work, or whichever tweet earned you the most online ridicule in that specific month.
Twitter hasn’t given us the official list of the biggest tweets of the year yet, but it’s safe to say that a promise from NFL player Damarious Randall to buy his retweeters a jersey if the Cavs win the 2018 NBA championship is certainly up there. Luckily for Randall, the Golden State Warriors ended that dream in the playoffs.
There’s no snazzy dashboard or graphic presentation to sum up your Netflix watching habits, but you can scroll through a never-ending stack of everything you’ve streamed if you go to the ViewingActivity section of your account. You can also download all of your watching info as a .csv file you can open in Excel or Numbers. Scroll down to the beginning and you can see the very first thing you streamed this year, or ever.
Amazon Prime Video
Your Amazon Prime video streaming data is buried under a handful of menus, but you can see what you’ve streamed by clicking on this link. You might get an incomplete picture, however, if you’re not the primary Amazon Prime account holder.
The default way to find out about your most successful Instagram photos is with a service called TopNine, which mashes together your posts with the most likes into a shareable collage that will, presumably, get you even more likes. TopNine does this every year, but in 2018, it requires that you share your email address, and then they send you a link. The company says it’s because the huge volume can make generating the images take longer than some users are willing to wait while staring at a progress bar.
Social media strategists suggest looking at your top nine to plan for social media success next year. So, if you had a baby this year and it got you lots of likes, consider having another baby next year and every year to maximize engagement.
Instagram hasn’t done an official year-end wrap-up post just yet, but if it does, we’ll add it here so you can enjoy whatever thing Kylie Jenner did that earned her the most popular earth.
If you’re curious about your own YouTube habits, you won’t find a nice slideshow of stats— the results are likely horrifying for most people. You can, however, check in on your daily and weekly stats if you check out the Time Spent tab in the account menus of the YouTube mobile app.
never-ending look back on 2018, YouTube put together a very polished recap to highlight some of its most notable moments. Unfortunately, it quickly achieved the notable accomplishment of becoming the most disliked video in the service’s history. A New York Times piece about the video went so far as to say that it set off a “civil war.”