About this item

People keep track. In the eighteenth century, Benjamin Franklin kept charts of time spent and virtues lived up to. Today, people use technology to self-track: hours slept, steps taken, calories consumed, medications administered. Ninety million wearable sensors were shipped in 2014 to help us gather data about our lives. This book examines how people record, analyze, and reflect on this data, looking at the tools they use and the communities they become part of. Gina Neff and Dawn Nafus describe what happens when people turn their everyday experience -- in particular, health and wellness-related experience -- into data, and offer an introduction to the essential ideas and key challenges of using these technologies. They consider self-tracking as a social and cultural phenomenon, describing not only the use of data as a kind of mirror of the self but also how this enables people to connect to, and learn from, others.

About the Author

Gina Neff

Professor Gina Neff is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford. She studies innovation, the digital transformation of industries, and how new technologies impact work. Her book Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries (MIT 2012) won the 2013 American Sociological Association Communication and Information Technologies Best Book Award. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University and has held faculty appointments at the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego. Her popular writing has appeared in Wired, The Atlantic, and Slate. She now lives in Oxford with her husband Philip Howard and their two sons.

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