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Measuring Up

Posted on  19 February 15  by 

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by Nissa Hanna

What’s your sleep score? Are you in the top quintile of performers at work? Gen We – from babies to teens — are already getting used to such metrics. They’re being measured in a number of new areas, not just around academic performance at school or growth percentiles at the doctor’s office. This recent push for tracking and quantification could have implications for how this demographic forms their self-image and self-esteem.

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It’s a contentious issue that parents, pundits and educators are weighing in on, declaring it as beneficial or potentially harmful – or cautiously assessing both sides. But society likely won’t know the individual and cultural effects of this new style of pervasive, intimate and sophisticated quantification for a number of years. Still, many parents and experts (and US governors) aren’t waiting for a verdict, enlisting a variety of devices in their kids’ lives — from activity trackers that help them meet fitness goals to smart beds that measure sleep quality to tech-enabled pacifiers that relay vital signs.

For more on the quantification movement, why parents are into it or against it, and how brands might benefit from it, check out our trend “Growing Up Against the Numbers.”

 

photo credit: Thijs Knaap, flickr.com

 

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