An Anxious Alliance

Kaiton Williams

Abstract


This essay presents a multi-year autoethnographic perspective on the use of personal fitness and self-tracking technologies to lose weight. In doing so, it examines the rich and contradictory relationships with ourselves and our world that are generated around these systems, and argues that the efforts to gain control and understanding of one's self through them need not be read as a capitulation to rationalizing forces, or the embrace of utopian ideals, but as an ongoing negotiation of the boundaries and meanings of self within an anxious alliance of knowledge, bodies, devices, and data. I discuss how my widening inquiry into these tools and practices took me from a solitary practice and into a community of fellow travellers, and from the pursuit of a single body goal into a continually renewing project of personal possibility.

Keywords


self-tracking; autoethnography; experience; quantified-self

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/aahcc.v1i1.21146

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