Do you really need to know how frequently you…?

Curmudgeon alert: self-help devices, books, seminars that are used to examine the most trivial details of our lives drive me into cranky mode. Today on NPR’s business report, the Quantified Self movement, including devices to measure the minutea of our daily physical lives.

Two reactions:

1. My mother, Henrietta, when asked about her secrets for living a long, healthy life, always said: “moderation in food and drink, exercise, don’t smoke…and have some fun.” Pretty simple. She lived in her own home, unassisted, to the age of 92.

2. Some of the money and attention spent on self-help programs of whatever kind might be more productively directed toward improving society and the world around us. (Check out Julie Grant’s story on cuts to programs for the developmentally disabled. We could probably all improve our own mental and physical health by volunteering at programs like these that are facing drastic cuts.)

All of this dovetails with NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s plan to cut the size of sugary drinks available for sale within the city limits. Really? People don’t understand that 16 ounces of soda pop is less fattening than 32 ounces…and that zero ounces is best of all?

Have at me, folks. (Meanwhile, I’m going to go measure…well, none of your business.)


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2 Comments on “Do you really need to know how frequently you…?”

  1. Michael Greer says:

    What we need is a meter to tell us how many useless things we do each day.

  2. Leslie Anne King says:

    That report made me cranky as well! I like your mother’s answer to the problem of all of that nonsense!

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