Mara Balestrini: In favour of a multiplied self. Can empathy lead to personal behavior change?

Within the field of Personal Informatics much research pursues the design of applications for self-tracking to motivate behaviour change. Such tools usually follow an “egocentric” approach where the user is expected to reflect on and change her behaviour by visualizing her own collected data. I suggest that a system where the data of a user is mapped into the wellbeing of an external entity or a community, with which the user establishes an affective bond, could lead to an alternative approach towards self-awareness, based on empathy and vicarious emotions such as altruism and compassion.