26 June 2015

Free for All Friday No. 345

We have more and more options for tracking our health electronically. There are phones and watches with built-in pedometers, apps for tracking caloric intake and sleep quality. We can even access  information from GPS and augmented reality devices like Google Glass to evermore accurately quantify our activities.

What are the advantages of using paper instead of or in addition to relying on digital data? Maybe paper gives us more time to analyze information on our own rather than just collecting more and more data.

I, along with others, use a blend of electronic and paper recordkeeping. How about you?

11 comments:

  1. Hi Nan. I use the built in pedometer on my smartphone to track my daily exercise (walking), and also to measure heart rate, as its pretty accurate in both respects. I've found GPS devices to basically be no use at all when you live, as we do, in a small village with intermittent signal. Basically, if the phone signal isn't any good (ours isn't), the GPS tracker isn't going to work either.

    Once I have the basic information I have a choice either to record (on paper, because the app's retrieval function is useless) or to discard (which is what I usually do as the moment, purely because I haven't 'got a grip' on the system.

    I think both device and paper are useful - the former for recording and the latter for storing and interpreting the data. I never can get my head around data interpretation on the screen - it has to be on paper.

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  2. I know I'm cyber-paranoid compared to most people these days, but I'm leering of letting a company know so many details about my life. From your FitBit or whatever they know lots of details about your health, behavior, and even who you associate with and when (if you share info with friends). I don't want a company knowing my details and patterns. I know they are convenient, but with convenience we pay the price of a lack of privacy.

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    Replies
    1. I am soooo in that "boat". After dealing with a stolen identity, which was traced back to a hotel credit card charge, I too am very leery. I'm very selective of who I give what information to. If the questions are too invasive, irrelevant, or cross MY line, I'll stop the process. All my credit cards, store cards, passport, IDs...basically anything that could have an RFID chip and be tracked, are in protective sleeves. Paying through NFC (Near Field Communications) on a smartphone, not till that very hot place way down there freezes over. I may seem paranoid to some, but wait till it happens to them. Hate to have this attitude, and that I have to go to these measures, but...
      Sorry, hot button issue. Rant's over.

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  3. I used strickly paper for my health until a year ago when I got a Polar Loop. I would love to use the Runkeeper app, but I too live where my phone has a hard time receiving signals. Just two weeks ago I went completely digital by linking Fitness Pal with the Polar Loop and have to say I am happy. Either was there are pros & cons of each system, but I think I'm ok leaving it - we'll see. Laurie, I agree about privacy, but I believe it is a thing of the past. About five years ago we moved and I typed in the street we lived on. Blew me away! Told me all my neighbors, their phone numbers, children over 18, parents, and some even had their brothers and sisters listed. If you have a credit card, any account on the internet, fill out a questionaire, buy a vehicle, etc. they pretty much have your info.

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    1. I know that's true Cassandra, but these devices give away data at a whole new level of intimacy: sleep patterns, heart rate, where you go and when, etc. Who are they selling that data to? It's a gold mine for companies selling healthcare products, or products of any kind really. This is coming from a person who doesn't even have a grocery store rewards card because I don't want them gathering data on what I buy.

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    2. We just stopped buying at stores that require them. We're not all cash (because my husband lost our grocery fund cash envelope a few years ago) but I track my expenses very carefully and only shop at select places that offer high quality products without asking for personal information.

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  4. I'm not too worried about Big Brother having all of my information. I am cautious about the information I share but Im not looking to move off the grid anytime soon. I just ignore targeted advertisement, unless its something I want. I currently use the Fitbit ap, tracker, and scale to track my sleep (when I remember), steps, exercise, and weight. I transfer my daily and weekly results into my paper planner. I like being able to see everything in a monthly view as well as in the aps charts. In my paper planner I also track water and medication intake. My Fitbit has gotten me excited about my health again and as of today I am down 32 pounds! We all need to find what works for us. For me its a combination of paper and technology.

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  5. I keep a log of excercise sessions and run times in my Filo. The paper form allows continuity of the records year by year, so I can check back and see how I'm doing. I also use them to judge whether I am getting value for money from my gym membership! Seeing a series of blank boxes in the column for the month is a good stimulus to do something about it too.

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  6. I rely on my good old fashioned pedometer that clips onto my clothes. That way, I'm the only one tracking that information. It's no one's business but mine.

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    Replies
    1. I thought I was the only one! Me, too, girl. I shelved my fitbit when I realized the implications.

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  7. I just use my Fitbit. My boyfriend and I challenge each other like who will get the steps in during the day.

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