Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Stop the Scroll: Sharpen your Attention With Pomodoro Solution

by | Nov 18, 2023 | Dashboard, Team Project, Visualization | 12 comments


In an era marked by a rapid exchange of information and digital connectivity, our attention spans have undergone a notable transformation. From an average of 150 seconds in 2004 to a mere 47 seconds in 2020, the ability to sustain focus has become a precious commodity. This shift carries far reaching implications, impacting not just our productivity but various facets of our lives. The ramifications of this decline are many such as decreased productivity, wasted time, disruptions to sleep, effects on mental health, and potential impacts on career opportunities.

In this blog, our focus will be directed towards concentration levels of university students in Lebanon. We will unfold the primary reason behind this decline and recommend a significant solution to address these challenges


Increase of social media users:

In a society dominated by social media and a tendency to immediately check notifications upon waking up, we’re confronted with a plethora of mental health challenges. Based on data from Statista, the percentage of social media users from total population has been gradually increasing since 2017 reaching over 4.59 billion users as of 2023, which accounts for 57% of the entire world’s population using various social media applications such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, Reddit, and Discord. Social media penetration, which represents the percentage of social media users per population, seems to be at a high in Lebanon with a value of 89.5% in 2023. This means that the majority of the Lebanese population is using social media. Such a high penetration rate implies that social media has become a significant part of daily life for a large portion of the Lebanese population


Repercussions of social media: High distraction rate


Given the increase in the use of social media apps, and the high social media penetration in Lebanon, we surveyed 280 responses to study the effect of social media on university students in Lebanon.


The survey line chart visualization represents the answers of 3 main questions which are in respect to the number of hours spent on social media:

  • How often do you get distracted by Social media when you are busy doing something?
  • How easily distracted are you?
  • How frequently does your interest in daily activities fluctuate?

The above graph showed a positive correlation between between the amount of time students spend on social media and their likelihood of getting distracted. Those who dedicate more hours to social media tend to encounter increased levels of distraction. This heightened distraction, in turn, leads to fluctuations in their interest levels in various daily activities which includes studying.


Remedies: Pomodoro technique


The Pomodoro technique is a technique involving taking intervals of time to study and rewarding yourself at the end of these intervals (25 minutes, 50 minutes). During the 25 minutes, individuals commit to completing their tasks and maximize their concentration by silencing/ turning off notifications, closing unnecessary tabs, and creating a study-friendly environment. 

Rewards for completing a Pomodoro session come in the form of leisure time which is often spent on social media. This technique represents a form of delayed gratification that through routine makes it easier to focus on the task at hand. The technique is supported by the science of evolutionary biology which states that the human brain states in a state of alertness to avoid looming threats. Hence deactivating and reactivating the brain helps restart your body’s internal focus timer.


Pomodoro effectiveness

To prove the effectiveness of this technique, we conducted an experiment on a group of university students were we tracked the number of phone checking in 2 hours before and after using Pomodoro as well as the percentage of tasks they completed.

As we can tell by the bar graphs above , the number of times the students touched their phones without Pomodoro was significantly higher compared to using Pomodoro technique trials. Moreover, the percentage of tasks completed in 2 hours significantly increased after using Pomodoro technique in comparison to without it.

Our Solution: Pomodoro Prime App

A potential remedy for the problems caused by rising social media usage and shortening attention spans is our app’s creative features which utilizes the Pomodoro Technique. The apps features involve tabs to be chosen depending on what type of Pomodoro session a student would like to perform:

  • Create an individual focus session with customized time intervals in which you can then periodically take breaks in between
  • Join a Pomodoro session and connect with others studying with predefined time intervals that have periodic breaks in between.

In between these study sessions, there’s an option efficient break in which breaks that are commonly spent on YouTube mindlessly scrolling is now substitutable with options for stretching and meditation exercises during study sessions that will improve focus and calmness for better performance in the next sessions.



  1. This is so interesting and informative, great work!

  2. Interesting Idea. Was going to ask what the difference is between your Pomodoro App and many others, though I think the “connect with others” functionality is an interesting one and should set you apart from the rest.

    Good stuff!

  3. Amazing! Very interesting actually!

  4. very relevant to what we are suffering with as university students! very interesting read.

    • Great to know!

  5. Very well said! I particularly enjoyed the analytics of the Pomodoro experiment, very insightful to really see proof of this method working, I would definitely use your app to see if It works with me !! However it would be interesting to understand more potential long term solutions to concentration issues, not just related to studying.

  6. Waw! Very intuitive!

  7. That is so helpful, thanks for sharing i will definitely try it!

  8. I actually have used Pomodoro technique before and I must say it helps organise a scattered mind that is actually even worse putting social media In the equation, at least for me. I actually do like the features of your app as I always wanted to link my to do list with a Pomodoro app as its all under the umbrella of improving productivity.

  9. The Pomodoro method has actually been the main thing I use to help me study and the fact that this app can connect me with others who also use it is so useful in not making me feel so isolated which just makes me more motivated and efficient.

  10. Great visuals guys!!

  11. Very interesting and beautiful dashboards!


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