The mundane experience of everyday calorie trackers: Beyond the metaphor of Quantified Self
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AbstractIn this article, we build on the work of Ruckenstein and Pantzar, who have demonstrated how our understanding of self-tracking has been influenced by the metaphor of the Quantified Self (QS). To complicate this very selective picture of self-tracking, we shift the focus in understanding self-tracking from members of the QS community to the experiences of ‘ordinary man and woman’. Therefore, we interviewed ‘everyday calorie trackers’, people who had themselves started using MyFitnessPal calorie counting app but were not part of any tracking community. Our analysis identifies three main themes – goals, use and effect – which highlight the mundane side of self-tracking, where people pursuing everyday, limited goals engage in basic self-tracking and achieve temporary changes. These experiences contrast with the account of self-tracking in terms of long-term, experimental analysis of data on the self or ‘biohacking’, which dominates the QS metaphor in the academic literature.
All Author(s) ListDidžiokaitė Gabija, Saukko Paula, Greiffenhagen Christian
Journal nameNew Media and Society
Year2018
Month4
Volume Number20
Issue Number4
PublisherSage
Pages1470 - 1487
ISSN1461-4448
eISSN1461-7315
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

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