Today I took 5765 steps, blinked 28,480 times and breathed in and out exactly 23,642 times. I consumed 1576 calories – 297 of them from fat. 672 of those calories were subsequently burned by high-impact cardiovascular exercise. Over the course of the day, I used the word “obvious” 46 times – a new personal record. I drank 2.3 cups of coffee. After work, I took a 2467-step hike, the results of which were 2 Instagram photos and a Facebook post, which have so far received a total of 13 likes. After dinner, Sarah and I made love for 7 minutes and 14 seconds (18 minutes if you count foreplay, which lasted 3 minutes longer than usual – we must both be tired). As usual, just before bed we uploaded our data to the Lifelog. Reviewed the data from the previous week. Our rankings were pretty good, stacked up next to the other folks in our building. Shane and Rita next door always seem to have us beat – their lovemaking sessions tend to last at least 16 minutes more than ours do. Although, as Sarah and I always say with a smirk, once the Lifelog learns to discern quality, we’re pretty sure we’ll come out on top. Apparently Rob from downstairs hikes the same trail as me, but his Total Number of Steps is smaller overall. Weird. Note to self: check his height and see if this should be a cause for concern.

When it first came out, people said the Lifelog was just for cranks. For neurotics, fitness buffs, people desperate to lose weight. But its encroachment into every aspect of our lives happened quickly, effortlessly. To be honest, we welcomed it. Opportunities for competition in daily life are virtually endless. Data giving us a look at the innermost workings of not just the lives of others, but our own. Then came the public Scoreboards, the ranking system, the algorithms using mined data to optimize the human experience.

There were, of course, those who resisted. Those who claimed that human interaction couldn’t and shouldn’t be quantified, that to measure it at such a infinitesimal level would be to rob it of any real meaning. That tossing so much personal information into the public realm made us easier targets for companies and marketers to further tailor their offerings to our subconscious desire.

Eventually those voices were silenced. People who can’t be measured are dangerous. How else do we justify our existence on this bustling, throbbing sphere? How else does a civilization grow?

-- Jesse Donaldson

YOUR QUANTIFIED SELF