Visual Accountability

I had this grand plan of intelligently commenting on the notion of online accountability and its many forms. Of citing examples of this accountability in the form of Foursquare check-ins at the gym, blog posts detailing a healthier lifestyle, twitter chats devoted to specific or general health topics, pictures of meals validating the time and energy spent in the kitchen, or even the many pictures of Dexcom graphs.

The last one is the idea that is responsible for this post. It doesn’t take long to search for Dexcom pictures – they are everywhere. But what gives me hope for this particular form of accountability is that these pictures aren’t just of the no-hitters, but the moments that are far from in range. The words of encouragement that follow are just as meaningful for the momentary victories and defeats.

This is what I get after messing with camera effects and Instagram filters.

There are plenty of tools in the wild that give us the opportunity to publicly disclose, share, learn, and ultimately improve our health. While many of you may not know it yet, you’re self-tracking. And even if you aren’t specifically benefiting from monitoring your activities, you will. And many others will, too.

In just five minutes of searching, I’ve found a few examples and resources that illustrate this point better than the past few sentences:

Stanford’s Medicine X had an entire day of presentations and conversations devoted to Self Tracking. Susannah Fox also spoke after her presentation about the value and impact of self tracking.

Online tools like My Fitness Pal exist, and succeed for a good reason.

Quantified Self is an entire online community formed around the idea of self tracking. And in case you wanted to join, they’ve provided an extensive list of tools and gadgets that are readily available to get you started.

Here’s some proof that I’m not the only person posting pictures of my Dexcom display.

In scrolling through that feed I found this picture of what I think is a Dexcom sensor on a forearm. Is this really a thing?

And of course, you can follow the #dexcom hashtag on Twitter and keep up with the conversations happening there.

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