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YouTuber Alan Chikin Chow's Weekly Screen Time Diary May Surprise You

The content creator gives a glimpse into his universe leading up to VidCon.

In Chronically Online, Elite Daily asks people to get real about their phone habits, tracking their screen time over the course of seven days. This week, content creator Alan Chikin Chow shares the apps he used the most the week of the annual VidCon fan convention in California, and why texting is so important.

When Alan Chikin Chow started making YouTube videos as a student at the University of Southern California, his goal was simply to connect with his family back home in West Virginia. Now, the 27-year-old content creator has created his own universe online and become YouTube’s No. 1 Shorts Creator with over 48.5 million subscribers.

Reaching over 50 billion views across social media platforms is not an easy feat, and Chow’s day-to-day is often booked and busy. Not only is he the star of Alan’s Universe, a drama series he co-created for YouTube, but he also tries to post daily videos on his TikTok (to his nearly 15 million followers) and Instagram (to his 1.5 million followers).

There are also his in-person appearances. Most recently, he was a featured creator at VidCon 2024. The annual convention held in Anaheim, California, marks a chance for some of the biggest digital creators to interact with each other and meet their fans, all while navigating the massive convention center across the street from Disneyland.

If you’ve ever wondered how a digital creator — whose literal job is to use technology — actually spends their screen time, here’s how Chow engaged with his phone during VidCon week. You may find a few surprises along the way.

Occupation: Content creator

Age: 27

Location: Los Angeles, California

Weekly Average (June 24 - June 30): 6 hours, 9 minutes

Araya Doheny/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Day 1: A Surprising Social Media Detox

The morning kicked off with a meeting with my new talent agency, CAA. (For reference, Creative Artists Agency represents the likes of Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, and Zendaya, so this is a big deal.)

Afterward, I trained my new social media manager before a dance rehearsal with my team for VidCon. Because I was running around and my phone was off, I didn’t have *any* screen time to document. It was like a social media detox even though my job revolves around social media.

Most Used Apps: N/A

Screen Time: N/A

Day 2: The Business Behind My YouTube Videos

Nothing like a packed day of running errands. First I had an appointment at the bank, then a call with my new YouTuber friends Justin Kroma and Adam McArthur of LankyBox; you might know them for their Roblox and gaming videos.

After chatting with them on the phone, I had a meeting via the Telegram app about the new episode we’re shooting soon for Alan’s Universe. (No spoilers here.) This was followed up with a call to my real estate agent for a new warehouse studio I’m renting in LA. And allll of these back-to-back chats were before another dance rehearsal for VidCon.

My most used app was Telegram, which is what I usually use to communicate with my team, but I also spent about an hour on Snapchat posting for my 645,000 subscribers.

Most Used Apps: Telegram, Snapchat, Phone

Screen Time: 7 hours, 15 minutes

Day 3: Driving Down To VidCon

It was finally time to head to VidCon, so I quickly packed, then hit the road. Since I was driving from LA to Anaheim, I let Google Maps show me the way for about an hour.

Once I arrived, I had dinner with the whole team at Meta and Instagram. It was super fun, and all my Alan’s Universe castmates got to network with Meta employees.

Alan Chikin Chow

Telegram won again as my top app. There’s so much communication happening, but I also spent almost two hours on YouTube. I post daily to YouTube Shorts.

Most Used Apps: Telegram, YouTube, Google Maps

Screen Time: 9 hours, 36 minutes

Day 4: Getting On Stage For Our Fans

Performance day! Needless to say, my schedule was packed again. We did our first dress rehearsal, filmed our episode of Alan’s Universe at VidCon, then had our show in front of a *huge* crowd. It was awesome.

Alan Chikin Chow

Clearly a hard worker, Telegram won again as my most used app. I also spent some time on Instagram and used my camera to capture content.

Most Used Apps: Telegram, Instagram, Camera

Screen Time: 6 hours, 34 minutes

Day 5: A Chill Post-Performance Day

The day after our performance, I had some team meetings, a few VidCon panels, and some press interviews to do. But after all my obligations, I hung out with my friends at the hotel bar.

Alan Chikin Chow

Though it may seem like it was a chill vibes kind of day, I actually spent six hours on Messages. *mind blown* I must’ve done a lot more running around and texting than I realized.

Most Used Apps: Messages, Telegram

Screen Time: 11 hours, 25 minutes

Day 6: Wrapping Up The Con With All My Friends

For the last day of VidCon, I explored the convention center, met with fans, and went to dinner with my friends.

Alan Chikin Chow

Guess the winner for most used app. Of course, Telegram. Gotta stay connected with my team, you know?

Most Used Apps: Telegram

Screen Time: 6 hours, 52 minutes

Day 7: When A Disneyland Trip Ends In Disaster

Yay, Disney! Or, at least it started out on a high note. With the convention center being right across the street from Disneyland, my team and I decided to make it a day to remember.

Alan Chikin Chow

Unfortunately, I dropped my phone and broke the screen — that’s why I have barely any screen time and no apps to show for it.

Most Used Apps: N/A

Screen Time: 1 hour, 24 minutes

Final Thoughts: Communication Is Key

Being a creator is definitely lots of fun, but it requires a lot of coordination and communication. That’s why my top apps are Telegram and Messages. Basically, I love my team and spend all day talking to them, and it was a blast going to VidCon together.

This as-told-to has been condensed and edited for clarity.