The quantification paradox: Exploring consumer ambivalence towards self-tracking
The spread of smart technologies has enabled consumers to monitor and quantify various and diverse aspects of their lives, making self-tracking an extremely popular phenomenon. However, the increasing popularity of self-tracking does not signify a universal positive acceptance of self-tracking practices from consumers as indicated by the high rates of abandonment of activity tracking devices. Exploring the nuanced attitudes of active users, this study reveals that self-tracking elicits ambivalent attitudes from consumers. Specifically it suggests that consumers develop ambivalence towards five dimensions of self-tracking: the motivational aspect, the level of familiarity, the fun factor, the social aspect and the generated data. Thus, through an empirical investigation the present paper contributes to the scant empirical consumer research on self-tracking as well as to the literature on consumer ambivalence.