Aug 24, 2021
Chris Dancy's life used to be a lot different. Back in 2008, he weighed more than 300 pounds, smoked two packs and drank 36 cans of Diet Coke a day. But he had one disruptive skill in his back pocket.
As a database engineer, he's obsessive about tracking information. And when he put the lens on himself, it changed everything. By tracking every aspect of his life (food, feelings, TV, social media posts, etc.) he collected "big data" on himself, the way a tech company would. Using a variety of sensors, apps, and home-brewed systems, Dancy harnessed his habits and completely disrupted his life.
Today, he's an author and speaker who warns against the dangerous discourse that technology is "breaking" people. Instead, he says "don't unplug," and explains how the systems that suck our attention and data can be reverse-engineered to make our lives better, and ultimately make us more human. "Today's technology is engineered around reactions, not feelings," he says, and shows us that it's within our power to change that.
In this extraordinary and emotional conversation, Dancy discusses how our culture weaponizes time, looking back at your own emotional data, his mother's gift that changed everything, and training yourself to schedule things like "kindness" and saying "I love you." In his own words, "we need to stop valuing our schedule and schedule our values.”
For a complete transcript and links from this conversation, visit https://whitneyjohnson.com/chris-dancy