What data do you already track about yourself, or have you tracked in the past but no longer pay attention to? Why have you made these choices? What do you get out of it? What are the advantages/disadvantages of self-tracking? Of using digital devices to help us do it? What patterns do you think are present in your life, but don’t have the data to back it up? (For example, the person who found that coffee actually hurts his concentration, or the person who found that watching a bad movie made him feel negative about his own film career).
People in the 21st century rely heavily on tracking themselves, whether it is to manage their finances, know how they are sleeping, or simply to inform themselves how active they are being every day; it has become a way of life for many. Back in 2017, I began to track how many steps I walked a day; I wanted to have data of the amount of light exercise I had done for the day. I have always been self-conscious towards the way I appear to other people. I tend to feel ashamed of my weight, the scars on my face, and anything that comes out of my mouth. For this reason, I have tried many diets such as KETO, Atkins, the Military diet, and Weight Watchers. I also resorted to dietary supplements and shakes, which led me to get sick for awhile. I wanted to lose weight and meet society’s expectations of me as a woman no matter what the consequences were. To make sure my goals were going to be met, I looked for applications on my phone that allowed me to track calories and water intake, and any exercises executed that day. Even though, it can be great to know the way your life its going and if your goals are being met; there are many negatives in constantly keeping tab on certain aspects of one’s life.
Self-tracking permits you to collect evidence and analyze it to understand what you should or should not stop doing in order to reach certain goals in your life. My goals were staying active enough to lose weight, and not go over an amount of calories. Tracking myself helped me do this (to a certain point). On the other hand, self-tracking caused me a lot of unnecessary anxiety (on top of my every day episodes due to my disorder), and when I did not reach the results I was looking for, it caused me to feel down, dare I say depressed. I became a slave of the numbers because I wanted to look and feel a specific way, but the end-goals were not to satisfied myself.
A pattern that I believe exists in my life but I do not have the data to back it up is migraines (frequency and why). I feel like I get migraines more often when I am stressed out, or anxious towards certain things. I could begin to write down a list of the times I get a headache but this would turn into something obsessive and the activity itself would probably give me a migraine. In conclusion, self-tracking can be beneficial depending on its use, but for me it was not due to the goals I wanted to meet and the steps I took.
If you took the SAT or ACT, did you opt to let the company share your scores with schools? What did you gain from that decision, and how do you feel about it in light of the article? How does the College Board (the company behind the SAT)’s business model intersect with what you learned about college rankings? How should standardized tests be used in college admissions (or, should they be used at all)? What do SAT scores and the methods by which they are measured reveal about students, and what do they hide?
I took the SAT’s twice because I believed my first score was not enough to get accepted into the school I wanted. The second time I only improved by 100-200 points (it is something), and I did get accepted into all 15 colleges/universities I applied to. I still wonder if I would not have taken the test again if I would have received all those acceptance letters. I did opt to let College Board share my scores with schools. Many colleges and universities contacted me (and still do, in spite of me being enrolled in John Jay) to know if I was interested in scheduling tours or attending their institution in the long run. After reading the article, I feel disturbed. A huge percentage of colleges buy our SAT scores to lower their acceptance rate, but this is done at our cost! We apply to these institutions with hope that we will get accepted, making plans of what we will do when we step in their campus. But, every member of the admission committee already knows that we will not make it to final candidates. I have always believe that SAT’s are not a good way to measure if a student should be admitted in college. Many students get anxious when it comes to taking a test, no matter how hard they study, it is just the way they are. These institutions should focus in analyzing how future students are in interviews, in their community or in other aspects of their everyday life. These kind of tests do not show your actual intellectual ability and your interests in life.