Last year I wrote about a man named Nicholas Felton who collects data on his daily life, then publishes an “annual report” for family and friends. His practice fits into the category of the “quantified self,” a phrase that’s getting hotter by the day. The “quantified self” refers to collecting data about your habits and practices to evaluate some aspect of behavior. Everyday it seems more devices emerge that track our personal “inputs,” from calories consumed to steps taken. Some think we might be at risk of mining too much personal data. Partly because companies or criminals could exploit it, and partly because it may just get burdensome to interpret every little thing you do.
What I like about Felton’s particular data set is its emphasis on the seemingly mundane. So much of what happens in our year isn’t social media share-worthy, or even text share-worthy. The bulk of our moments are made up of things like buying a quick snack, walking to the bus, and sitting in business meetings. Facebook’s “Year in Review” would certainly look different if it reported on things like that, wouldn’t it?
I don’t collect data to Felton’s degree of granularity so I can’t tell you every little mundane thing that happened to me this past year. But like I did last year, I decided to pull together an “annual report” with some fun facts and charts. The info below is based on rough notes in my personal journals. I could take it much further if I went into my online accounts – think about how much data we all have on ourselves! How would you measure your year?
One more thing: a quick round-up of the most popular posts on my blog for 2014. Thanks to all of you who read, comment, debate, etc. I love hearing from you!
39 posts published in 2014
Top 5 Posts – Not Food
Top 5 Posts – Food
- Buttery Goodness
- The Quandary of $4 Toast
- Something Unexpected (Recipe Round-Up)
- Tea for Thirty
- Potato, Potahto