It is Sunday, Research Sunday! This is my day in the week to take a look at what others are doing money-wise. I have been searching the web for something relevant and interesting to analyze.
The first two weeks I found blogs that were really interesting, and week three I found an article to talk about instead. The fourth week I looked at some projects from people in class. This week though, I thought I would do some research into lifelogging.
I googled around and found that lifelogging is actually super common. Between Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and more, we already document and share quite a lot about our daily lives, without really thinking about it. They are lifelogs of sorts, but without any sort of structure or consistency to them.
I found a really interesting article though that immediately caught my attention with its title: Lifelogging: The Most Miserable, Self-Aware 30 Days I’ve Ever Spent. The article was written by Max Knoblauch about 2 years ago.
If you haven’t noticed, the art of lifelogging and personal data tracking once reserved for medics and athletes has permeated mainstream culture. Jawbones, FuelBands, Fitbits and countless other wearables adorn the wrists of an ever-growing percentage of the tech-savvy population.
He talks a little bit about the growing craze of lifelogging and says: “Having my doubts about the usefulness of the Quantified Self movement, I’ve spent the past 30 days recording my daily activities with a small army of lifelogging apps and my trusty, apparently rash-inducing Fitbit Force.”
With a handful of apps, he begin tracking his daily activities. Using MyFitnessPal to track his diet,Sleepbot to track his sleeping habits, Fitbit to sync his movements from my wristband and Felton’s Reporter to measure almost everything else, he logged everything from the existential “Are you looking forward to today?” to the trivial, “What do you smell?”
He says, “It is not enjoyable.”
Manual data input, as it turns out, is a hindrance to the daily activity it’s supposed to be tracking. He says: “I frequently put my book down to tell my phone that I’m reading, take my phone out at dinner to let it know I smell hamburgers and zone out of conversations to tell it who I’m talking to.”
Here is something really funny he says: “I decided it’s only accurate to also track the time I spend tracking. For a brief moment I tried to track the time I spent tracking my tracking, but I found it too disruptive to my tracking.”
That is a lot of tracking, where does it end? haha
At the end of 30 days, Max says “It’s difficult to say if I learned anything about myself that I wouldn’t have guessed already. My mood averaged out around a 70 out of 100, my “most smelled” smell was cleaning fluid (for some reason) and I read 1,657 pages.”
But according to Felton, thinking about data tracking in terms of what hidden secrets it will reveal is the wrong way to go about it. He uses tracking more as a storytelling method, to give an accurate depiction of his year. Felton is confident that the future will only bring growth for this kind of storytelling.
He also had so many really cool graphs showing all of the things he tracked, I highly recommend you go and check this article out!
Have a great Sunday afternoon everyone!