HAVE you too become a graph junkie?
Line, column, pie charts ... pie is my preferred graph but columns stack up okay and I'm happy to follow a line graph up to a point.
Suddenly we're all experts on how to best present statistics for people who might otherwise tune out ie. about 99.8 per cent of us.
ABC TV financial journalist Alan Kohler has long had the best graphs to cut his sometimes complicated content down to size. On Monday night his last graph for the segment charted the exponential rise in Google searches for banana bread. (His finance news always appeals to my taste!)
Kohler must be thrilled that graphs have made such a big comeback during this year's coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, graphs are the new black; except that most of them are now very much in the red for the foreseeable future!
Speaking of things going off the charts, our interest in privacy matters has soared since the government has got more involved in our public life.
As a rule, it's probably not the worst reaction.
However, to be fair, our privacy has already taken a real pounding, all of our own doing.
All of us with a social media account - or several of them - know we trade off privacy every single day in exchange for connection with others.
MORE MATERIAL GIRL:
I have three questions when downloading any app: Is it free? Is it educational or entertaining? Does it contribute more to society than the annoying Furby (robotic toy) translator app from a few years back? We never did master fluent Furbish!
Ever filled out a Facebook survey? Are you an introvert or extrovert? What type of Disney princess are you? How will you look when you're 85? How many foodie experiences have you gobbled up? (No idea on my Disney princess status but it turned out I've had my fair share of foodie outings.)
We know full well these surveys reveal our hobbies, traits, politics, the places we've been or even the places we plan to go in future for no real public benefit and rarely a bit of a laugh.
But if our social media behaviour leaves anything in doubt, our online shopping habits round out our profile nicely.
Having Googled cellar door wine sales ahead of a charity bash earlier this year, I have been bombarded with advertisements on my phone and laptop for pinot noir and rose ever since.
During the recent school holidays my daughter Googled tutorials on making makeup wipes from fabric (it's my Mother's Day gift, but there are no secrets during pandemics!).
Now she routinely gets advertisements on her device for DIY makeup pads.
Rightly or wrongly, we find this Big Brother behaviour shocking at first but it doesn't actually faze us enough to change our online habits.
However, when we're asked by the federal government to consider downloading an app to help health officials track and trace COVID-19 contacts, our privacy concerns are front and centre.
I have three questions when downloading any app:
Is it free? Is it educational or entertaining? Does it contribute more to society than the annoying Furby (robotic toy) translator app from a few years back? We never did master fluent Furbish!
Up to Tuesday morning, the track and trace app, COVIDSafe, had been downloaded 2 million times since its launch in Australia on Sunday night.
It's said that 40 per cent of the population would need to install the app for it to be widely effective.
The government wants Australians to use the app as a prerequisite to swiftly end strict lockdown measures.
Having researched the app more than I would wine sales or DIY Mother's Day gifts, there's more than enough community benefit in it to counter any risk to my already-compromised privacy.
Like all apps, users would also be free to delete it should they have any download regrets.
I figure the app will do more collective good than harm and make more sense than Furbish.
Now graph that!
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