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Fitbit—that little wrist-watch-like band all the Soul-Cyclers and other “health”-aware, competitively-inclined early technology adopters are wearing these days—purportedly tells you more about yourself, through the data it collects on your every step. Mohamed Er-Erian, a chief economic advisor and rich and boring person, thankfully (?) decided to share some of his Fitbit inspired self-realizations with Bloomberg, as well as peppering in some generalizations about “the world.” El-Erian’s discoveries are, for the most part, insipid and trite: people are obsessed with data about themselves, measurement metrics alter the behavior of those monitoring said behavior (if you track how much you walk, shocker! you’ll walk more), and you do a lot of walking around in airports. Yet he makes one questionable assumption: “Enabled by technological advances and mobility, we are much more focused on obtaining data about ourselves. This is part of a consequential drive toward lives that are more self-directed.” Is wide datafication and the feedback-loop of self-monitoring truly a drive towards greater “self-direction”? Why does follow apps commands supposedly inspire us dominion over ourselves? And when we listen to our Fitbits, what other self-evident directions do we fail to hear?

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