Data Consciousness — Managing Your Life Line

I am con­vinced that in the next few years, we will run every aspect of our lives in a fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent way than we have done before. We’re going to do that because .… it’s pos­si­ble. We will man­age every aspect of our lives based on our own data which we will be aware of for the first time in his­to­ry. In order to max­i­mize our con­ve­nience in deal­ing with our data on our activ­i­ties, plans, envi­ron­ment, and other con­texts, this data will be pro­vid­ed as data streams, time­lines, or “life lines”.

In 2014, self-tracking and wear­ables became fash­ion­able, and the advent of the first real smart­watch, the Apple Watch in April 2015 marks the start of our life lines. First thou­sands, then mil­lions of peo­ple will track them­selves with­in the respec­tive con­texts and have this data con­ve­nient­ly visu­al­ized in time­lines. Data tell the sto­ries of their lives, data reflect who they are and what they do. 

Data Dis­com­fort

Today, many peo­ple dis­like the idea of col­lect­ing their own data. Some aren’t com­fort­able know­ing that much about them­selves, they don’t want to be con­front­ed with their own data, they don’t want to know how bad they sub­sist, how lazy they are or what other bad habits they have. Oth­ers fear that their data could be hacked, mis­used or “stolen”. Both are right: we all do things that we would hate see­ing them in a mir­ror — there­fore we use make-up, have plas­tic surgery and more: we try to see our­selves as pos­i­tive as pos­si­ble. And the fear­some are right, too: data will be hacked and mis­used — we don’t have to wait for that, that’s real­i­ty, right now.

And, yet. We pro­duce data, day by day. And this data is col­lect­ed — by our tele­com providers, by the admin­is­tra­tion, by spy cams, by our cars, by shops, etceter­aetcetera. The train has begun rolling and it has picked up speed. You won’t stop it, even if you tried hard.

Who has access to your data?

The prob­lem: the only one who does not have acces to your data, is you. But — should­n’t it be you who has exclu­sive acces to your com­plete data set? You bet! Imag­ine sev­er­al offi­cial and unof­fi­cial par­ties work­ing on your data, cre­at­ing your pro­files with­out your knowl­edge. And you relax and tell every­one, that you aren’t inter­est­ed in this data? 

The inflec­tion point — Data Con­scious­ness

I do not believe you. Or, in other words: you should think twice. It’s you who should be most con­cerned about your data. And it’s you who’s could make the most of your data. Why wait? Why per­sist on this stand­point of lack of inter­est or even refusal?

2015 marks the inflec­tion point: it’s “Year 0” of our per­son­al data con­scious­ness. Many peo­ple start to admin­is­ter their lives from their per­son­al life lines. Get your­self your life line, the ear­li­er you start know­ing your­self the bet­ter.

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