A question mark in a ball (datacurious logo)


Cassia Artanegara
September 19, 2023

Data Curious's Second Solano Stroll

A tri-fold board is painted in a diagonal gradient, starting with orange in the bottom left-hand corner, to pink, to purple in the upper right-hand corner. A prompt on a yellow cloud shape says, "Our favorite summer activities with our loved ones". The bottom right-hand corner shows a tree with the words "Activities in Real Life" and the upper left-hand corner shows a laptop and two game controllers with the words "Activities during screen time".

September marks the start of back to school season, the inundation of fall-themed products and marketing campaigns, and, if you’re located in Albany, CA, the Solano Stroll. An annual street-wide festival co-hosted by the cities of Albany and Berkeley since 1974, the Solano Stroll brims with live music, art vendors, delicious food, and more. It’s the biggest event of the year in Albany, drawing the entire Albany community to the streets for a day of fun. I attended frequently and excitedly as a kid, meeting up with friends to marvel at beautiful handmade goods or hosting bake sales with my high school volunteer club.

In 2022, Data Curious hosted a booth at the Solano Stroll for the first time. Our sponsor company, Good Research, had just relocated to Albany and we thought it would be a great opportunity to meet the community and get curious about data together. We had such a blast chatting with families, teachers, and residents about data, our online and offline selves, and how we can protect ourselves when we use technology.

This year, we wanted to continue the conversation about the relationships between ourselves and technology. We invited participants, especially our younger guests, to draw their favorite summer activity with loved ones, and whether it was in person or during screen time. For folks who were more comfortable writing than drawing, we asked about their boundaries with technology and how technology brings them joy. As the day progressed, the responses posted on our activity board began to paint a picture of our community’s sweet summer memories.

In the foreground, two kids and their parent draw at a kid-sized table. Behind them, a 5ft board painted in a pink and orange gradient is covered with drawings from the day.

We can't share participants' responses since we didn’t get consent to share them online, but below are some of my answers. Many people referenced camping and going to the beach as their favorite summer activities.

We also had “Dr. Data” on hand to address more in-depth topics, led by Nathan Good, Nitin Kohli, and Will Monge. Many people asked about ad tracking and how to prevent themselves from being tracked. Parents shared their strategies for initiating age-appropriate conversations about healthy technology use with their kids, while educators talked about their struggles to incorporate data privacy education into their already crammed curricula.

Thanks to the many interesting conversations throughout the day, we’re thinking about how to grow and improve Data Curious. We’re excited about the prospect of conducting more in-person events and continuing to create resources that can be used in the classroom and at home. We’re so grateful for everyone who stopped by our booth to share their unique experiences with us, as well as our wonderful Data Curious volunteers, who were crucial to making the day such a success! Until next year…stay curious!

One of our handouts, which is divided vertically into two parts. On the left, a cartoon drawing of a person spreading their arms and enforcing a boundary cloud asks, "What boundaries do you need to have a healthy relationship with technology?". On the right side, a cartoon person holding a flower in one hand and a smartphone in the other asks, "In what ways does technology bring you joy?"

What do you want to know about data, privacy, or technology?

Data Curious is a public resource supported by Good Research LLC in collaboration with the Center for Digital Civil Society at University of San Diego.

To contact us, send us an email at hello@datacurious.org.

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