The Time of the Smartwatch: Taking Care or Wasting Time?


  • Letizia Zampino Department of Social Sciences and Economics, Sapienza University of Rome



Self-tracking, Smartwatches, Self-care practices, Wearable technologies, Conciliation


The aim of this article — drawing on qualitative methodology — is to enlarge self-tracking studies, thus to problematise the management of time required to produce reliable and interpretable data. To do so, the essay explores the contamination between self-tracking literature and feminist technoscientific studies, focusing on the digital time enacted by the domestication practices of smartwatches, configured to be simultaneously both time-tracking devices and wearable self-tracking technologies. In the era when Google and Apple manage our well-being, is producing reliable data through smartwatches a waste of time? Or could it be a time to take care of yourself? Qualitative interviews have been carried out to investigate how women appropriate their digital time clocks by experiencing flexible and subjective time as well as strategies to balance self-care time with work and family time. Accordingly, the analysis is presented in two parts. The first section shows how self-tracking habits can become a waste of time by configuring underuse practices. The second section analyses how smartwatches become allies in the processes of re-appropriation of body self-knowledge in the lifetime of women who have to reconcile time for themselves with time for family and work.


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How to Cite

Zampino, L. (2023). The Time of the Smartwatch: Taking Care or Wasting Time?. Sociologica, 17(2), 131–147.