Here’s a recent talk i gave at Quantified Self Amsterdam #1.
Quantifying relationships can sound creepy, although in this case it was not. My girlfriend and i started a weekly ritual while waiting for dim sum. As a couple in a LAT relationship, the weekly review seemed somehow an organic way to keep up with each other next to phone calls or the occasional meetup. At some point later, we started a new behavior, adding an event or situation on a piece of paper and then each of us awarding or subtracting points. We were still relatively early in getting to know each other, perhaps at a place near stage two of Sara Shultz’s model that inks out the various phases couples generally encounter and transition through in relationships. The quantification aspect was really enabling each us to share our individual perceptions in the vessel of our weekly review. This led to both of us acknowledging and then modifying (in some cases) our behavior. We continued this practice for a transitory 3 months.
Here are the slides.
I’m now thinking more about the models of relationships which necessitates digging into the research rather than a 5 minute google search, to uncover academic insights on human personal relationship formation. At the same time, i’m keeping a healthy sense of disbelief and analyzing my own thoughts and feelings to discern whether other filters or metaphors would shed new light on how we look at our personal relationships? Having given this talk, I’ve caught myself and dominique, adding and subtracting points from each other yet again. What is the medium to longer term impact of this practice on our time together? Is there a healthy future for analytics and incentive structures of the digital kind when applied to personal relationships? Will the adverse affects, on average, outweigh the benefits?