“You are Your Data”: Self-Tracking as a Phenomenon of Deep Mediatization

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Evgenia G. Nim

PhD in Sociology, Associate Professor, School of Media, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

e-mail: enim@hse.ru

Section: New Media

The article examines digital self-tracking (the practices of surveying one’s body, behavior and thinking by means of mobile applications and wearable devices) as a case of deep mediatization. The study of this phenomenon is relevant not only due to the increasing popularity of self-tracking technologies, but also due to a broader tendency of metrization and quantification of social life. Examining a growing body of foreign research literature in the field, the author defines self-tracking as a media technology and social practice with a range of specific features. In particular, self-tracking is problematized through the concepts of deep mediatization, datafication, gamification and automation. The article addresses different theoretical optics, through which these aspects of quantified self-tracking are understood and analyzed. The positions of both proponents and opponents of this practice are emphasized. The article concludes by pointing to the polarization of academic discussion around self-tracking and the related processes of deep mediatization, while emphasizing the necessity of going beyond it.

Keywords: self-tracking, digital technologies, deep mediatization, datafication, gamification, automation
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.5.2020.2953


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