I went on a bit of a Twitter rant last night, about how MyFitnessPal doesn’t give me much helpful data:
While it’s called MyFitnessPal, it doesn’t feel much like a pal, and feels more like a diet app than a fitness app:
It’s like a friend congratulating you for eating a lot of whole wheat, but making a face because the egg you ate has a lot of cholesterol in it, even if it’s the only egg you’ve eaten that week.
Using Wolfram Alpha’s Facebook Report tool, I can examine my own patterns of Facebook activity–and confirm suspicions of my own patterns and habits.
I work an 8-5 job, so you see spikes of activity over lunchtime and after I get home from work.
The majority of what I post to Facebook is links to share with my friends.
I post a lot of links.
A soon-to-emerge recurring theme…
Also referred to as “datafication” by the authors of Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform how we Live Work and Think, metrication can be defined as beginning to see all aspects of our lives as valuable data points and metrics against which to gauge our worth, success, and productivity, a relatively recent trend. Spurred on by technological advances, new tools of monitoring others such as plug-ins and cookies also allow us to track ourselves.
Using metrics to evaluate people is not a new concept–from birth we’re monitored against percentile growth charts by pediatricians and our anxious parents; once we’re of schooling age we are monitored and tracked by the government and school districts using grades and standardized testing–reducing our school performance to “valuable” numbers and the odd, coded comment like “works hard in class”. After graduation and/or college, it could be over, but the working world possesses its own set of metrics. At my own job we track all sorts of data related to customer satisfaction, in addition to how quickly and efficiently we serve our users. This is consistently relayed back to us as workers, with the implicit intent of improving those numbers. The higher the better.