Complicating the notion that personal surveillance is always ubiquitous and pervasive, this article investigates the macro-, meso-, and microlevel "gaps" that confound the study of self-tracking. Literature from human-computer interaction, critical data studies, and archival science, as well as insights from qualitative research by the authors into the long-term value of self-tracking data, is used to expand a typology of "gaps" that exist as part of the activities, behaviors, technologies, and data practices of self-tracking. In this article an emphasis is placed on elucidating microlevel accountable and expressive gaps, articulating how people respond to and make sense of the temporal absences in their own self-tracking data. In the process, the authors argue for self-tracking research to reorient from a perspective that seeks to mitigate all data gaps to one in which data gaps are viewed as an opportunity to connect individuals with meaningful changes in the patterns of life.


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pp. 178-216
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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