In the western culture, the finger is always pointed at the individual, for better or for worse. When we look at someone who is fit and good-looking, we think that they’ve done something right.
“I would advise caution when it comes to these norms that are dictated from the outside. Health and well-being really are a sum of things, phenomena and experiences.”
According to Sinikallio, the problem with self-tracking is that it focuses on one thing only without seeing the big picture.
“Self-tracking is only a small part of health promotion, and there isn’t much research on the topic yet. Devices work well in boosting motivation and giving feedback, bur otherwise I’d be wary of them.”
People need to feel like they are in control of their life. As our world is becoming more and more scattered, self-tracking makes us feel like we’re on top of at least something and, according to Sinikallio, this creates an illusion of having control over our life.
“Yet, we are driven by our instincts and urges, and our actions are guided by socio-economic and cultural factors, among other things. The behaviour we are conscious of is just the tip of an iceberg, and many of our day-to-day choices are made on other grounds than those related to health.”