18 April 2018

[Book] The Qualified Self

Be the first to share

The Qualified Self: Social Media and the Accounting of Everyday Life
by Lee Humphreys
MIT Press
May 2018, 179 pages

How sharing the mundane details of daily life did not start with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube but with pocket diaries, photo albums, and baby books.

Social critiques argue that social media have made us narcissistic, that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are all vehicles for me-promotion. In The Qualified Self, Lee Humphreys offers a different view. She shows that sharing the mundane details of our lives—what we ate for lunch, where we went on vacation, who dropped in for a visit—didn’t begin with mobile devices and social media. People have used media to catalog and share their lives for several centuries. Pocket diaries, photo albums, and baby books are the predigital precursors of today’s digital and mobile platforms for posting text and images. The ability to take selfies has not turned us into needy narcissists; it’s part of a longer story about how people account for everyday life.

Humphreys refers to diaries in which eighteenth-century daily life is documented with the brevity and precision of a tweet, and cites a nineteenth-century travel diary in which a young woman complains that her breakfast didn’t agree with her. Diaries, Humphreys explains, were often written to be shared with family and friends. Pocket diaries were as mobile as smartphones, allowing the diarist to record life in real time. Humphreys calls this chronicling, in both digital and nondigital forms, media accounting. The sense of self that emerges from media accounting is not the purely statistics-driven “quantified self,” but the more well-rounded qualified self. We come to understand ourselves in a new way through the representations of ourselves that we create to be consumed.

Lee Humphreys is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University.

Be the first to share
20 November 2018
[Book] Who can you trust?
Who can you trust? How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart by Rachel Botsman Public Affairs November 2017, 336 pages If you can’t trust those in charge, who can you trust? From government to business, …
19 November 2018
What are Europe’s rules for democratic artificial intelligence?
Vincenzo Tiani has written an excellent summary in Wired Italia of the recently published "Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society: Opportunities, Risks, Principles, and Recommendations", by AI4People, a task force of European experts. With the …
18 November 2018
Consumer behaviour and the circular economy
Report: Behavioural Study on Consumers’ Engagement in the Circular Economy London Economics for the European Commission – Consumers Health and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) 23 October 2018, 202 pages The objective of this study was to provide policy-relevant …
17 November 2018
[Book] Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting The Rules Of Work
Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting The Rules Of Work by Alex Rosenblat University of California Press October 2018, 296 pages Silicon Valley technology is transforming the way we work, and Uber is leading the charge. An American startup that …
2 November 2018
[Book] Ethnographic study of a Swiss bank’s financial analysts
Stories of Capitalism: Inside the role of financial analysts Stefan Leins University of Chicago Press 2018, 224 pages The financial crisis and the recession that followed caught many people off guard, including experts in the financial sector whose jobs …
24 October 2018
[Book] Challenging the City Scale
Challenging The City Scale: Journeys in People-Centred Design Ed. by Cité du Design (Saint-Etienne) and Clear Village (London) Birkhäuser, 2018, 176 pages (free ebook) This 176 pages book is released by the famous international publisher Birkhäuser, and co-edited …
12 October 2018
[Book] Changing Things: The Future of Objects in a Digital World
Changing Things: The Future of Objects in a Digital World by Johan Redström and Heather Wiltse Bloomsbury Publishing September 2018, 192 pages In their new book, "Changing Things: The Future of Objects in a Digital World", assistant professor Heather …
11 October 2018
[Book] Ethnography for a data-saturated world
Ethnography for a data-saturated world Edited by Hannah Knox and Dawn Nafus Manchester University Press October 2018, 296 pages This edited collection aims to reimagine and extend ethnography for a data-saturated world. The book brings together leading scholars in …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

4 October 2018
Bringing​ ​patients into focus at the Roche Innovation Summit

Experientia is proud to have been a key participant at the Roche Innovation Summit, held at Roche headquarters in Basel Switzerland on 19 June 2018. Themed “​Transforming the Healthcare Experience Together​”, the summit aimed to galvanize the Roche community around the future transformation of healthcare and diagnostics. With 800 attendees from Roche and Genentech global […]

13 June 2018
Invito: DesAlps design thinking workshop per la tua startup

Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]

3 May 2018
Invito: DesAlps innovation workshop per le PMI del territorio piemontese

Experientia è lieta di invitare le piccole e medie imprese del territorio piemontese al: DesAlps Workshop #1: Il Design Thinking per le PMI Venerdì 18 maggio 2018 – dalle 9.00 alle 17.30 @ Rinascimenti Sociali | via Maria Vittoria 38, Torino Scopri i vantaggi che il Design Thinking può portare al tuo business per prepararvi […]

27 April 2018
Impact through Design – Event in Turin, Italy

(Scroll down for English) Come può il design generare impatto? In continuità con il summit International Days of Deans and Experts: Impact Through Design (Barcellona, aprile 2018) Torino ospita il primo evento dedicato alla prospettiva italiana sull’impatto generato attraverso il design in riferimento ai Sustainable Development Goals definiti dalle Nazioni Unite. Attori dell’ecosistema territoriale ed […]

26 February 2018
Designing Patient Solutions with Meaning: Review of technology and health apps for a better patient experience

Technology is radically changing the world of healthcare and acts at different levels in support of different stakeholders. There are several digital tools on the market (e.g. wearables, virtual reality, robotics, etc.), many of which work in integration with each other, for example, wearables connected to IOT applications. Experientia’s report provide an overview of some […]

22 December 2017
Happy new year 2018!
See all articles