Monday, September 30, 2013

The Quantified Self: When iPhone apps attack!

Via (Photo Source)
I was listening to a random podcast recently and learned more about the concept of the "Quantified Self."  Have you heard this term?  You may have participated in some aspect of the idea, as I know I have.  I have tracked my weight and calories through the My Fitness Pal app and the UP band that tracks my activity (including my sleep quality).  This is how I found out I am a black belt ninja at napping; My sleep quality was rarely less than 100%, while the hubs was more around the 75-80% range.

Currently there are people all over the world that are participating in the Quantified Self movement.  And I mean really tracking a lot of data, not just casually logging how much pie you ate today in My Fitness Pal.  This group of people track all sorts of data about themselves, mostly pertaining to health and wellness.  It is a group that understands the value in the awareness and tracking on information to help them achieve their best personal results.

Studies have shown that when we share data with others, or are very aware of it ourselves, we tend to strive for our best because we are being watched.  I totally eat less calories when I actually have to log them, and it prevents me from eating at restaurants because it is extremely hard to track.  Which is why I can't seem to commit to any quantified self data tracking for very long, as I love mom and pop restaurants.

Even with all of the capabilities, there is also the argument that is too much data, too much tracking, and too many gadgets.  The idea is fascinating though, and there is a whole population of people who support this.

If you are interested to learn more, here are a few sources to check out:
The Quantified Self: Data Gone Wild? (PBS)
About the Quantified Self

If this feels too Big Brother to you, here is an alternate solution:
Kickin' it old free.

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