A field of personal analytics has emerged around self-monitoring practices, which includes the visualization and interpretation of the data produced. This paper explores personal analytics from the perspective of self-optimization, arguing that the ways in which people confront and engage with visualized personal data are as significant as the technology itself. The paper leans on the concept of the-data double‖: the conversion of human bodies and minds into data flows that can be figuratively reassembled for the purposes of personal reflection and interaction. Based on an empirical study focusing on heart-rate variability measurement, the discussion underlines that a distanced theorizing of personal analytics is not sufficient if one wants to capture affective encounters between humans and their data doubles. Research outcomes suggest that these explanations can produce permanence and stability while also profoundly changing ways in which people reflect on themselves, on others and on their daily lives.
Over the past decade, data-intensive logics and practices have come to affect domains of contemporary life ranging from marketing and policy making to entertainment and education; at every turn, there is evidence of “datafication” or the conversion of qualitative aspects of life into quantified data. The datafication of health unfolds on a number of different scales and registers, including data-driven medical research and public health infrastructures, clinical health care, and self-care practices. For the purposes of this review, we focus mainly on the latter two domains, examining how scholars in anthropology, sociology, science and technology studies, and media and communication studies have begun to explore the datafication of clinical and self-care practices. We identify the dominant themes and questions, methodological approaches, and analytical resources of this emerging literature, parsing these under three headings: datafied power, living with data, and data–human mediations. We conclude by urging scholars to pay closer attention to how datafication is unfolding on the “other side” of various digital divides (e.g., financial, technological, geographic), to experiment with applied forms of research and data activism, and to probe links to areas of datafication that are not explicitly related to health.
This article investigates the metaphor of the Quantified Self (QS) as it is presented in the magazine Wired (2008–2012). Four interrelated themes—transparency, optimization, feedback loop, and biohacking—are identified as formative in defining a new numerical self and promoting a dataist paradigm. Wired captures certain interests and desires with the QS metaphor, while ignoring and downplaying others, suggesting that the QS positions self-tracking devices and applications as interfaces that energize technological engagements, thereby pushing us to rethink life in a data-driven manner. The thematic analysis of the QS is treated as a schematic aid for raising critical questions about self-quantification, for instance, detecting the merging of epistemological claims, technological devices, and market-making efforts. From this perspective, another definition of the QS emerges: a knowledge system that remains flexible in its aims and can be used as a resource for epistemological inquiry and in the formation of alternative paradigms.
In this article, we introduce and demonstrate the concept-metaphor of broken data. In doing so, we advance critical discussions of digital data by accounting for how data might be in processes of decay, making, repair, re-making and growth, which are inextricable from the ongoing forms of creativity that stem from everyday contingencies and improvisatory human activity. We build and demonstrate our argument through three examples drawn from mundane everyday activity: the incompleteness, inaccuracy and dispersed nature of personal self-tracking data; the data cleaning and repair processes of Big Data analysis and how data can turn into noise and vice versa when they are transduced into sound within practices of music production and sound art. This, we argue is a necessary step for considering the meaning and implications of data as it is increasingly mobilised in ways that impact society and our everyday worlds.
Seen in a longitudinal perspective, Quantified Self-inspired self-tracking sets up “a laboratory of the self,” where people co-evolve with technologies. By exploring ways in which self-tracking technologies energize everyday aims or are experienced as limiting, we demonstrate how some aspects of the self are amplified while others become reduced and restricted. We suggest that further developing the concept of the laboratory of the self renews the conversation about the role of metrics and technologies by facilitating comparison between different realms of the digital, and demonstrating how services and devices enlarge aspects of the self at the expense of others. The use of self-tracking technologies is inscribed in, but also runs counter to, the larger political-economy landscape. Personal laboratories can aid the exploration of how the techno-mediated selves fit into larger structures of the digital technology market and the role that metrics play in defining them.
With the goal of re-humanizing discussion platform operations, this study explores the knowledge and aims of commercial content moderators by reframing their work-related ideals through the notion of the “logic of care.” In seeking to expand their professional realm by realigning users, moderators, and technical tools, moderators of discussion forums have turned to machines, ideally freeing up resources for real-time interaction between moderators and those who post. By focusing on care, the study calls for technical innovation that integrates moderators’ aims with artificial intelligence systems. Rather than acknowledging human skills and resources in terms of moderation tools and discussion culture, the current platform logic forces moderators to operate like machines. Their discontent becomes understandable within a logic that diminishes their skills and vision. The moderator is left with assessing separate posts, rather than offering a meta-perspective to the discussion, overseeing and nurturing it.
scite is a Brooklyn-based organization that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
334 Leonard St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Copyright © 2023 scite Inc. All rights reserved.
Made with 💙 for researchers
Part of the Research Solutions Family.