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  • Writer's pictureDinaKhalil

My Online Hike

This is an invitation to invade my privacy!

Retrieving my old data and going through them made me realize how blessed I am for moving on from toxic people that were my everything. Still hurts, I guess this is what it feels like to put your blood, sweat, and tears into something. I’ve requested my data from Google Takeout last week because I was worried it would take time as was discussed in class. The time it takes google to gather your data depends on how big they are, and in my case, it took them 5 hours only to send my data archive. Even though I had my data for some time now, I was terrified to download them and relive the past through them. I mean looking at some names on my then-contact list is very unpleasant. But here we go.

Weirdly enough, I found out that I don’t really rely on technology that much (the irony). I actually still use planners. I think I solely rely on the built-in to-do list app on my iPhone.

Since in Kuwait (it’s next to Dubai), where I lived my entire life, I’ve never gotten the chance to use Google’s entire set of apps because we simply had no access. I’ve only started using apple pay, back in October. After looking at the data I gathered, I realized that the usage of technology differs depending on the country you live in. Here in the U.S. you get the full collection, the upper class, the OGs and the polished apps, while in most countries in the Middle East, we get their ugly cousins.

Now, back to exposing myself. I’ve found that I’m not as obsessed with YouTube as I thought I was. Google calculated my search history when I started using gmail, and I found out that I’ve created my current personal email back in 2013.

Calculating search history on YouTube can take ages and fry your brain, but try this LIFE HACK!  Just open the page on your browser and “find” the word ‘YouTube’, then divide it by two because it’s written twice on each line. This won’t work if you have more than 1000 matches, I wanted to calculate my activity on google maps, but there was too much data.

So, in my case I only searched for 500 videos since 2013. This is a shock to me, I honestly thought it would be a 4 digit number, but I think it’s because at some point I used work emails, and now I’m signed in on my NYU email. It’s hard to track my life using one email.


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