Digital Literacies

Researching New Literacies, Learning and Everyday Life

Archive for the ‘Narratives’ Category

Statistics as Selfies

without comments

I confessed to a class of undergraduate students that I wear a pedometer everyday and that I wear a heart rate monitor and a GPS device whenever I go out on my bicycle.

Garmin and Coffee stop

I upload statistics from these devices, have contacts on the websites; I send and receive ‘kudos’ for my activities and I find this very motivating. Sadly, if I forget to wear any of these tracking tools, I don’t feel like putting much effort into my day, as I feel there is no point.

Summer 2013

These devices provide some kind of account of our lives; an account that we influence. This is how the devices work to get us fit; they encourage us. They show us graphs, we can look at our progress and compare our selves to others as well.

One of my students said she also wears a pedometer and that in the evenings she would throw her pedometer repeatedly in the air in order to register additional steps so that her online profile would be more impressive. Obviously I think it’s quite funny that my student does this and it’s also quite ridiculous that I don’t feel like putting in effort unless what I do is recorded.

It is as if the narrative of our lives becomes more important than what we actually do. That we want the account to look good and we lose interest in the original experience. The virtual representations of what we do have a resonance, a power that I think many of us are seduced by. This way of regarding the stats is no different to the way we might photoshop an image of ourselves, or only choose to share flattering shots. We like to look back at these stories of our lives and we smooth the edges of them, crafting them into something we want to look at and for others to share in.

Written by DrJoolz

April 28th, 2015 at 3:11 pm