Can self-tracking drive you crazy?

Fine weekend reading. It’s isn’t often that this Editor picks up an article headline ‘as is’ for our readers, but on this fine Saturday morning she does not want to mess with perfection! Carolyn Thomas, a previous Soapboxer and a leading Canadian women’s heart health/health ethics advocate, takes on the Quantified Selfers and, in the view of this Editor, the Digital Health Hypester Horde (D3H) with a bristling critique in The Ethical Nag. Yes, Virginia, there can be such a thing as too much chocolate and too much QSing. Do you really want to live in a heightened state of endless anxiety, with your day depending on minor result twitches? She presents an exchange between a leading heart patient/advocate, Hugo Campos, on Twitter, endlessly self-monitoring via AliveCor, who is having a PVC (skipped beat) episode that is best explained by…anxiety. One early QSer of 40 different health measurements daily abandoned her very public quest stating “Each day my self-worth was tied to the data…I won’t let it be an instrument of self-torture. Any. More.” And there is the time bomb of genetic testing–genomics, a source of endless wonder in the D3H world. A must read (any article that weaves in quotes from Deming and Serres has to be!) Also thank you Carolyn for the citation of The Gimlet Eye’s commentary on the Thomas Goetz ‘diabetic paradox’ (canary in the mine) article.

Categories: Latest News.


  1. Well, didn’t you just make my day!? Thanks Donna for this (rather gushing) review and link to my original post. Love your spunky style – which is why I tend to keep borrowing your quotable quotes!