Mental Wellbeing

Quantified Self – What the heck does it mean?

3 Apr , 2013  

Not only have diaries evolved throughout the course of history in terms of how a person’s life is logged, but the terminology used to subscribe a diary has also come a long way. For instance, you may have heard terms like “quantified self” before, not realizing what they meant. Well, in relation to diaries, quantified self is actually a movement which incorporates technology to acquire data for the purposes of analyzing an individual’s daily life.

For example, if you were participating in quantified self logging, you would focus on vital data in your day-to-day life–calories and food consumed, air quality, mental and physical health and influences, etc–for the purposes of improving your life.

By self-monitoring these difference factors by use of a video camera or other monitoring systems, you would refer to your recorded data in order to increase your quality of life by some measure. Along with a camera, some people employ EEG or ECG sensors and other types of sensory monitors to catalog their physiological reaction to the environment.

It can start to sound complicated, but rest assured that the quantified self movement is only about self-awareness and ensuring the “self” aspect of it is accurate through the use of proper monitoring.

Quantified Self and How it Relates to Video Diaries

The quantified self movement can relate to a video diary in many ways. For individuals who have been stricken with debilitating diseases and other ailments, the use of a video journal definitely comes in handy in order to monitor daily activities, food intake, medications, state of wellbeing, and other factors. More than simple words in a journal, a video account of how lives are actually lived can help an individual notice areas which need improvement more readily.

Individuals with diabetes or those on a proverbial health kick employ many aspects of the quantified self as well, through the use of sleep trackers, heart rate monitors, blood glucose meters, etc. But it’s mostly the lifeloggers who actually use video to create a diary out of their ordeals.

Whether sick or perfectly healthy, using video software in the quantified self movement has many different advantages.

A diary has always been a way to record one’s voice, either for self-analysis or to share with the world. Participants in the quantified self movement are undoubtedly looking for ways to improve their lives. Improving their diet and exercise habits, seeking more adventure out of life, self-exploration to find one’s way – we live in an age where logging our lives via video is easy, and where examining the results can be extremely beneficial.

While the title of the movement and the different types of software and sensors can make it seem very complicated, it’s important to remember that we’re simply dealing with self-monitoring and self-awareness. It fits in well with the diary genre because, once you get beyond the surface, that’s exactly what it is. The quantified self movement is all about journaling, and video subsequently plays a large role.



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