Analysis of text messages with an ex-boyfriend

Teresa Ibarra used Facebook Messenger to text with her now ex-boyfriend almost a decade ago. She exported the messages and analyzed keywords and topics used over the one-year relationship.

I can’t say I recommend it — it was surreal and uncomfortable to read through messages from a decade ago. Programmatic analysis can reveal things about yourself, your partner, and your relationship that you may not want to know or accept. It’s also easy to intentionally or unintentionally manipulate data to favor a narrative.

I haven’t taken a statistics or data science course in forever, but I still think every student should have to collect and analyze data about themselves. You automatically get context for every data point because you lived it, so it’s easy to see how data doesn’t always match what happened in real life.