Robin Weis has been tracking her crying to an impressive degree. After her brothers attempted suicide and relationship gone bad she had some things to shed a tear about. Her seven minute long quantified self talk explains her story and techniques to track her crying. Ultimately, she let go of tracking this part of her life as she realized after 1.5 years that she was not longer being present and overanalyzing herself.
I cry a million times a year for a million different reasons in front of a million different people, but I also learned a lot from it.
Positive ways that logging affected my life:
- I decided that it’s not that big of a deal to cry in front of other people, so I’m way more open about my feelings now. I still worry about making other people uncomfortable, but I try very purposefully not to brush off my own feelings out of fear of vulnerability or embarrassment.
- I am more self-aware when I’m upset about something, and I am slightly more able to articulate my emotions as I am feeling them.
- I realized that the sorts things that make me cry change over time, because I either adapt to the situation or learn how to change it. For example, when I started logging, I cried a lot because planning things with my family felt stressful. Planning with my family still feels stressful, but I learned to manage the situation by 1) being more proactive about planning (instead of being upset that others aren’t) and 2) changing my expectations when I don’t feel like being proactive.
Negative ways that logging affected my life:
- I Pavlov’s dogged myself: it became a compulsion to check the time every time I started (and stopped) crying, which I kind of think is funny, but also not.
- Logging took me out of the moment and introduced a layer of distance via analysis when I probably should have just been feeling my feels. This became especially problematic towards the end of the project, when I tried to categorize cries as they were happening (because I wanted to create a real-time crying dashboard), and when I started logging cries with an intensity of 0 (times that I was at the brink of crying, but didn’t). I was basically exploiting my own emotions, which was not a great thing.