Lifelogging sounds like a word out of an old science fiction movie but what does it actually mean and how might it be something that I complete without even realizing it. The week I am looking at whether I am creating an accidental lifelog through my own usage of social media. I will also be touching on the idea of the connection between wearable technology and lifelogging, along with what my interest in wearable technology is. While these areas all sound like something from the future, they might actually become a part of your daily life sooner then you think.
What is a Lifelog?
To start off, lets first define what a Lifelog is. When I first heard the word lifelog, I thought more of somebody using a Fitbit or Google Glass to track their health progress but this idea does not cover fully what a lifelog is. A lifelog is defined by Cathal Gurrin and Yang Yang as “the process that records personal data generated from everyday life activities.” This definition while covering what my initial idea of lifelogging is about; describes a much more broader definition, which is not limited by technology.
So how does this tie into Wearable Technology?
Wearable technology is considered one of the easiest ways for a person to lifelog their experiences. An article in the Economist discusses how a pin sized camera (Narrative Clip) is able to “take photographs every 30 seconds, ensuring that no experience–however mundane–will go undocumented.” This idea is potentially terrifying to some users but highlights a way for the user to lifelog their own life. With these sort of products on the market, Wearable technology is quickly becoming the easiest way for a user to keep a lifelog and previously where a physical journal might have been used, an electronic one is taking its place.
What does Wearable Technology mean to me?
I am fascinated by the area of Wearable Technology and I am always exploring it within my university degree and my own time. My love affair with Wearable technology started when I was a first year at university. My very first assessment was a report on a new area which was emerging around this time. There was multiple options to choose from but one of those caught my eye, that being The Pebble. The Pebble was one of the first Wearable technology watches to break into the main stream market. In 2012, they completed the first Kickstarter of their kind earning the spot for most funded Kickstarter ever, this was then taken over by their latest Kickstarter this year for Pebble Time. Even still the original Pebble, still currently sits in third place for the most funded Kickstarter. While I never have used a Pebble, I liked the idea of viewing the information quickly and easily, while also being able to use my phone hands free
What do I use to lifelog my own life?
This connection to Wearable technology has meant that when the topic of Quantified self-came up, I found it incredibly interesting. While I do not actively use wearable technology and as an extension, social media to create a record of myself. I have previously read about the idea and always found it fascinating. I have kept various creativity journals either technology based or non; and currently use photos as a way of observing and recording events that happen in my life. Often these photos are not connected or posted to social media. Instead I have physically printed and posted them on my own map of the world; usually to represent where this photo was taken or the nationality of the person in the photo. As I have found I have a poor memory and struggle to remember things, these photos represent moments where I remember being happy and have a fantastic memory of that time.
How wearable technology can be used in lifelogging
This is similar to products mentioned by Mike Elgan, who discusses a range of applications and various items which may be used in lifelogging. While I do not utilize the GPS tracking on my phone, my camera acts in a similar vain to the idea that the Narrative Clip has. Instead of having to physically take a picture, it is a device which records whatever it views from its spot on your clothing. The reason lifelogging is becoming appealing as Mike states, “is that good memories are pleasurable and lifelogging improves them.”
Issues with Lifelogging
The issues of Privacy is a large issue when it comes Lifelogging; as is stated by Nigel Shadbolt who says “there are likely to be privacy concerns about lifelogging practice and technology, and indeed these concerns are already being raised.” This statement is continued and expanded on later in the report where the author states that “LifeLog’s difficulties are indicative of the strength of privacy fears when the funding body is not trusted by a potential user community.” As I do not trust the Facebook Company, I would prefer to keep my own Lifelog minus the social and collaborative aspect of this area. But as I feel lot more confident about what Dropbox is doing with my files, I will continue to use them until I see evidence that this is no longer the case. I also further expanded my experience in the area, when I had a go at lifelogging for an entire day.
A day in the life
To gain an experience of lifelogging, I recorded a full day in my life as I went about doing various jobs and studying. The small info-graphic demonstrates what went on in this day for me, while I did not post a picture or create a post to Facebook as such, I did utilize incidental logging, as I posted in the community about a funny video. I also incited conversations with various members of the community, asking about how their day was and what they thought of some of the recent game play changes. While this does not so much create a log, it does document that I spoke with these people and created a conversation point within the community. This sort of log does not count as a quantifying activity, as it does not provide any sort of data about what was happening at the time nor does it assist in collecting data about inputs, my current states and my mental or physical performance. If I had started a conversation about how I was feeling and had recorded it, this would have qualified. Instead the conversation was about a funny video and what was happening in their lives, while this may count as a qualified for them as they are discussing the events that happened in their life; it does not for me.
Within the area of lifelogging, I do not use social media so much to keep a record as I prefer a hard copy of my own lifelog rather than a technological one. Any logging which is done on this site is often through the tagging of other people; often tagging me in their photos then through my own actions. When I do keep a lifelog, I prefer to use the basic non technological drawing book and often will communicate my feelings and emotions rather then my current physical state. I also don’t mind the ideas of wearable technology using lifelogging; but I have concerns over the privacy issues which arise from this idea. While lifelogging is unlikely to be for everyone, it is becoming more and more popular in the world today.