Big Data Observations: The Datasexual

datasexual“The datasexual looks a lot like you and me, but what’s different is their preoccupation with personal data. They are relentlessly digital, they obsessively record everything about their personal lives, and they think that data is sexy. In fact, the bigger the data, the sexier it becomes. Their lives – from a data perspective, at least – are perfectly groomed”–Dominic Basulto, April 2012

“The datasexual spends a good part of the day sending out chunks of digital flotsam that fall under the rubric of the narb, which refers to any item of personal information posted online, particularly as it contributes, often unwittingly, to a personal narrative that the individual is creating online. (The word is a blend of narrative and bit.) The difference between your garden-variety quantified-selfer and a datasexual is the latter’s emphasis on public self-embellishment. While a QSer might use a pedometer to track the number of steps she takes each day, a datasexual will wear a Nike+ FuelBand on his wrist to display the number of steps he takes each day, and he’ll post that number to his online friends. The datasexual transforms self-obsession into conspicuous oversharing”–Paul McFedries, September 2013

“Too many information handlers seem to measure a man by the number of bits of storage capacity his dossier will occupy… The new information technologies seem to have given birth to a new social virus – ‘data mania.’ Its symptoms are shortness of breath and heart palpitations when contemplating a new computer application, a feeling of possessiveness about information and a deep resentment toward those who won’t yield it, a delusion that all information handlers can walk on water, and a highly advanced case of antistigmatism that prevents the affected victim from perceiving anything but the intrinsic value of data”–Arthur Miller, The Assault on Privacy, 1971