WeChat History with Mom for a Year

Data Visualization | Quant Self Data | ChartJS, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, CSV file

A journey of my chatting history with my mom.

Wechat History With Mom For A Year is a data visualization project based on my Wechat chatting history with my mother from 2016 - 2017. By visualizing an intimate relationship, I am interested in how our self-data reveals our behaviors, habits and relationship with people we know.

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Design Progress


My design progress can be divided into three parts. In each part, I am considering:


What does self data mean to me?

Why do I want to learn from my personal data?

Dealing with Data

What data am I collecting?

How do I collect my data?

How should I parse them?

Visualization & Reflection

How to access my data collection?

How to tell a good story?

What have I learned?



Self Data:

For me, self-data can be roughly categorized into two types. One is tightly associated with one’s social participation. Examples of self-data within this category could be one’s name, home address, email account, mobile phone number, etc.. While I consider the other type of self-data to be tightly associated with one’s emotions and feelings, which can sometimes be abstract. If the former type of personal data connects us with the larger society, the latter would be something that helps us understand ourselves and our relationship with people better.

I am interested in how our self-data reveals our behaviors, habits and our relationship with people we know. Based on this, I started my project of “analyzing” my WeChat chatting history with my mother.

Me and My Mom:

For the sake of my education, my parents sent me to a boarding school in another city. Since then, the time I spent at home has been gradually decreased. To connect with my family, I have used different types of technologies, from pay phones to cell phones without internet, to social media on smartphones.

It is interesting to think that nowadays, WeChat, which is the most popular chatting app in China, has become the most important tool that connects me to my mom.

I want to, by looking at the chatting history with my mother for over a year since October 2016, to get some insights about our relationship.


Dealing with Data

The data I decided to collect include:

The frequency we chat - on which days we talked, how many times a month

  1. Who initiates the conversation every time

  2. What were we mainly talking about

  3. Did we have a fight? If so, on what topic?

  4. Did we use any images?

  5. Did we use any emojis?

  6. Did we do video chat?

  7. Were there any money transactions?- WeChat allows users to transfer money to friends

Organizing the data and put them in a csv sheet:

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Visualization & reflection

I used Chart.JS to create a website, creating a timeline of my relationship with mom using the csv data sheet. I focused specifically on the frequency we talk and fight as well as the behind stories of our each fight,

I found these interesting details:

  1. If the chatting frequency drops, it is mostly likely that I am on a vacation and go back home

  2. Me and my mom tend to have much more fights when we are physically together

  3. I thought I was always the one who calls my mom first and initiated a conversation, but it turns out mom contacts me more often

  4. When I am not at home, I always consider a video call an official conversation. It turns our I was having much less official conversations with my mom than I thought

  5. It is so amazing and surprising how chatting history can help recall so many wonderful memories that was easy to forget

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