Lively Data, Social Fitness and Biovalue: The Intersections of Health Self-Tracking and Social Media
The Sage Handbook of Social Media, edited by Jean Burgess, Alice Marwick and Thomas Poell. Published by Sage, London, 2017.
Posted: 30 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 27, 2015
In this chapter, I examine the intersections between self-tracking for health and medical purposes and social media. The expanded array of digitised devices that are available for self-tracking and the capacity of many of these technologies to interact with social media platforms have encouraged self-trackers to share the details that they collect about themselves with others. I begin with a description of self-tracking and the sociomaterial theoretical foundations on which the chapter rests. This is followed with an overview of the technologies that are available for health and medical self-tracking and for self-trackers to share their data. The discussion section of the chapter presents an analysis of the new forms of value that personal health and medical data have attracted in the digital data economy, and the moral and political repercussions of encouraging people to participate as socially fit citizens. The chapter ends with outlining key questions for further research.
Keywords: self-tracking, quantified self, social media, health, medicine, sociology, sociomaterialism
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