Times change and with it I’ve noticed a tendency to monitor the shit out of everything these days. Nothing happens in this world without someone or something somewhere logging data on an event, activity or achievement. Cellphone minutes, data, vehicle kilometers, steps walked, heart rate, calories, facebook friends, instagram likes, website hits, gym sessions tracked, books read, food ate, movies watched, etc. Everything is being counted, logged and tracked and photographed.
I’m no stranger to monitoring things. Being in IT I know all too well that without the proper measurements/tools being applied you wont be able to track progress and hence set a benchmark from what you need to improve on. Measuring, tracking, monitoring are the basic core functions that allow us to know where “we’re at” and essentially lay the foundation for knowing what to improve on.
But don’t you agree that it’s getting a little out of hand lately? Can I not enjoy a morning run without checking how far I’ve run compared to yesterdays distance logged? Can I not enjoy a cycling session without checking if my heart-rate is above 150bmp? Can I not eat that Snickers bar without counting the calories? Can I not watch an episode of Walking dead without marking the episode as “watched” on my list of series and episodes I need to watch? Can I not go through a playlist of new songs without marking each song as “listened”.
Companies are jumping at every opportunity to log the shit out of everything. As if it is a good thing? Every phone these days come with a plethora of apps that you can use to track your health, habits, food, activities and pretty much everything you do every moment of every day.
We are essentially breeding a society of potentially obsessive compulsive people that simply HAVE TO make that mark, log that activity and complete that list.
Why are we doing this?
Why do we have this intense desire to log, document, monitor and track every aspect of our lives?
When last did you get up in the morning without checking what time it is? When last did you go for a run or a walk and not worry about how far it is or how many steps you took. When last did you do something for the first time and not document it with a photo or a social media post?
Are we living under the illusion that people actually care about or “stats”. That our friends and the “world” actually care about our constant self-monitoring?
Welcome to the age of logging the shit out of everything. I dare you to break free.
Originally published at namelessone.co.za on April 6, 2017.