This article, co-written by Tamar Sharon and Dorien Zandbergen is based on their research of the so-called Quantified Self community. The self-trackers who comprise this movement are often referred to as “data fetishists”, who are drawn to self-tracking because of its perceived power of truth and objectivity. Sharon and Zandbergen argue that this understanding is limiting and show the many different other ways in which members of the Quantified Self ascribe value and meaning to self-tracking practices.
The piece discusses self-tracking as a practice of mindfulness, as a means of resistance against social norms, and as a communicative and narrative aid.
In light of this active engagement with data, Sharon and Zandbergen suggest that it makes more sense to view these practitioners as “quantifying selves.”