Loneliness, life satisfaction, and time

For The Pudding, Alvin Chang examines loneliness through the lens of individual responses from the American Time Use Survey:

In this story, we’ll go through 24 hours of a typical weekend day in 2021. We know what people did – and who they did it with – because, since 2003, the American Time Use Survey has asked people to track how they use their time.

By the end of the day, we’ll learn that Martin’s isolation isn’t unique. In fact, loneliness has become a far more common experience in the last few decades – and it was supercharged by the pandemic.

The heart of the piece is in the anti-aggregate view of individuals through 24 hours. See each person’s schedule, who they spend time with, and how that changes through the day. Sorting draws patterns. The scrolly clock on the right ticks. And it works on mobile. Chang makes the data immediately relatable.

See it.