Birthday wishes

You may have noticed that I like to make lists and collect random data. This is another example.

During the last couple of years, I have written down who wished me a happy birthday, at what time, and via which communication channel. I wanted to display the data in some sort of flow diagram. I had alluvial diagrams and Sankey diagrams in mind. But neither actually fits what I wanted to do, as the emphasis is on the time of the birthday wish (vertical axis), not on the flow volume itself. Maybe there is a type of diagram out there that does what I wanted to do, but it is too late now as I just coded it myself. It obviously took me way more time than expected. But I learned a couple of new things along the way, and it kept my brain busy during an above than average depressing time.

20192020202120222023MMMMMMRuthRuth,PFPPPPPMarkusMarkus,MMMMMMFAnnAnn,WPMMPUrsUrs,WWSSSSSMaraMara,WWSSSSSAlessandraAlessandra,WWSSSSSSarahSarah,WMIISSSAnyaAnya,WWSSSSSGabrielGabriel,WMSSSAïshaAïsha,WWSSSSSRaphaelRaphael,WSSSSCorinne KCorinne K,SSSNicolas LNicolas L,WWSSSNathalie BNathalie B,WSSSMirjam HMirjam H,WMMMCarole ECarole E,WSSSSGuillaume JGuillaume J,WSSSKatia TKatia T
Who wished me a happy birthday on my birthday, at what time (vertical axis, from 00:00 till 23:59), via which communication channel, and how it changes from year to year

If you are viewing this with a computer that has a pointing device (mouse/touchpad), you can hover on the colored lines or the names to highlight a given person. On a touchscreen-based device (at least the Apple kind), you should be able to long-press on the colored lines to achieve the same result.

The communication channels are W=WhatsApp, S=Signal, M=Messages, P=Phone, I=In Real Life, F=FaceTime. When no communication channel is visible for a given person and year, there was no birthday wish from that person.

My close family almost never forgets. Friends seem to come and go. The most consistent person—who has not missed a single year and expressed their wishes around the same time of the day—is… Markus. The least consistent who still did not miss a single year seems to be Alessandra. What is the point of all this? None whatsoever, and that’s why it is fun.