Downloaded my Spotify data just because I could. If I really think about it, the implosion of Twitter has the ephemeral nature of the internet weighing heavy on my mind.

No online space feels safe or protected from the tantrums of a megalomaniac billionaire or global MegaCorp’s trashbin for no-longer-innovative-enough projects.

I’m unsure what I’m looking through these JSON files to find. The knowledge that I have a local copy of my streaming history? A bit of nostalgia? Something that looks like I’ve been on this planet via several thousand transactions in a Spotify database?

What I find myself looking for is connection to others in the data. The humanity, MY humanity, and any connection to the artists, the people sharing the music with me, or the other humans using this beautiful tool aren’t reflected in the rows of JSON. It would seem evident that the follower/following information would show connection, and it does, in the most basic way possible - the number of followers and number following.

My search history is the most helpful to understand any connections. For the more recent queries, I can conjure up where I was and what was going on when the request was sent. Would I give up some privacy to include details to help that recall along? Undecided.

Take, for example, the song “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers. There are many entries in my search history from Spotify. The entries span across mornings singing along to wake up my children before school. Bill Withers sang to me at 5:30 am in the car, driving to open BSides Orlando 2022. And another search on a tough day, where I was desperate to turn it around that I sang through tears, trying to make the day lovely through music and intention.

Clicking a heart icon doesn’t capture those connections.