Next Article in Journal
Seven Years after the Manifesto: Literature Review and Research Directions for Technologies in Animal Computer Interaction
Previous Article in Journal
Interactive Tools for the Preservation, Dissemination and Study of Silk Heritage—An Introduction to the SILKNOW Project
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2020029

‘I Just Want It to Be Done, Done, Done!’ Food Tracking Apps, Affects, and Agential Capacities

News & Media Research Centre, Faculty of Arts & Design, University of Canberra, Bruce 2601, Australia
Received: 25 March 2018 / Revised: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human-Food Interaction)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [230 KB, uploaded 23 May 2018]

Abstract

Food-tracking apps constitute a major category of the thousands of food-related apps now available. They are promoted as helping users monitor and measure their food consumption to improve their health or to lose weight. In this article, I present six vignettes drawn from interviews with Australian women about their use and non-use of food-tracking apps. The vignettes provide detailed insights into the experiences of these women and their broader sociocultural and biographical contexts. The analysis is based on feminist materialism theoretical perspectives, seeking to identify the relational connections, affective forces, and agential capacities generated in and through the human-app assemblage. The vignettes reveal that affective forces related to the desire to control and manage the body and conform to norms and ideals about good health and body weight inspire people to try food-tracking apps. However, the agential capacities promised by app developers may not be generated even when people have committed hope and effort in using the app. Frustration, disappointment, the fear of becoming too controlled, and annoyance or guilt evoked by the demands of the app can be barriers to continued and successful use. Sociocultural and biographical contexts and relational connections are also central to the capacities of human-app assemblages. Women’s ambivalences about using apps as part of efforts to control their body weight are sited within their struggles to conform to accepted ideals of physical appearance but also their awareness that these struggles may be too limiting of their agency. This analysis, therefore, draws attention to what a body can and cannot do as it comes together with food tracking apps. View Full-Text
Keywords: food-tracking apps; vignettes; new materialism; thing-power; agential capacities; affects; embodiment; selfhood food-tracking apps; vignettes; new materialism; thing-power; agential capacities; affects; embodiment; selfhood
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Lupton, D. ‘I Just Want It to Be Done, Done, Done!’ Food Tracking Apps, Affects, and Agential Capacities. Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2, 29.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Multimodal Technologies Interact. EISSN 2414-4088 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top