14 Chris Dancy: The World's Most Connected Man
In 2007, programmer Chris Dancy weighed more than 300 pounds, was on anti-depressants for decades, smoked two packs and drank 36 cans of Diet Coke daily. But when he started looking at his habits as data, he began to quantify his own life — and radically change it. A few social engineering experiments evolved into robust systems to track everything he ate, drank, watched on TV, and "liked" on social media. Thousands of little feedback loops reminded him (via push notifications and Google calendars) how and why he was spending every moment of his life. Dancy took the exact systems tech companies use to profile us, and redirected them toward his own physical and mental health. He lost the weight, ditched the prescriptions, and kicked the destructive habits for good. Since then, he's made countless headlines as "The World's Most Connected Man." Today, he guides others to live better through technology, and rejects the notion that "staring at our screens" is inherently bad for us. In our first interview on THE FUTURE WILL NOT BE PODCAST, we have a deep chat with Dancy about his quest to reclaim the data we so willfully give away online, and the tech literacy our culture will require to live well in the 21st century. Dancy's book, Don't Unplug: How Technology Saved My Life and Can Save Yours Too, is available everywhere books (and audiobooks) are sold.