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Societies 2014, 4(1), 68-84; doi:10.3390/soc4010068

Visualized and Interacted Life: Personal Analytics and Engagements with Data Doubles

National Consumer Research Centre, P.O. Box 142, Helsinki 00531, Finland
Received: 4 December 2013 / Revised: 14 January 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2014 / Published: 18 February 2014
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Abstract

A field of personal analytics has emerged around self-monitoring practices, which includes the visualization and interpretation of the data produced. This paper explores personal analytics from the perspective of self-optimization, arguing that the ways in which people confront and engage with visualized personal data are as significant as the technology itself. The paper leans on the concept of the “data double”: the conversion of human bodies and minds into data flows that can be figuratively reassembled for the purposes of personal reflection and interaction. Based on an empirical study focusing on heart-rate variability measurement, the discussion underlines that a distanced theorizing of personal analytics is not sufficient if one wants to capture affective encounters between humans and their data doubles. Research outcomes suggest that these explanations can produce permanence and stability while also profoundly changing ways in which people reflect on themselves, on others and on their daily lives.
Keywords: personal analytics; visibility; self-optimization; Quantified Self; data double; data visualizations; participatory research personal analytics; visibility; self-optimization; Quantified Self; data double; data visualizations; participatory research
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ruckenstein, M. Visualized and Interacted Life: Personal Analytics and Engagements with Data Doubles. Societies 2014, 4, 68-84.

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