Friday, September 9, 2016

The FitBit Blues

The glory of a goal achieved, the contentment of a job well done. This is how it feels to receive your "Marathon" achievement on your Fitbit, signifying you have put in 26 miles since you began wearing the device.

At least, I assume that is how it feels. I didn't earn the achievement - Lor did.

When the previously owned Fitbit entered our household, there was a little discussion as to who was going to wear it. However, I stood firm: my lovely wife should have it. She is more active than I am, she is also much more competitive than I am, and she is further along in the weight loss journey than I. Every argument I could think of was tossed into the fray. Once we got a look at the device and noticed that it had lots of exciting designer arm-band colors, another argument was applied: it could even be color-coordinated with outfits! Eventually, Lor gave in and accepted it, wondering at my insistent generosity, suspecting ulterior motives.

I might have had an ulterior motive or two for passing on the health monitor. The truth is actually simple if a bit embarrassing - I am afraid of 'em. After Lor fell immediately in love with the Fitbit she wanted to run out and buy me one as well. I told her  that there was "nothing her Fitbit can do that my cell phone can't!" Something to that effect. With raised voice and indignant tone. You kids and yer newfangled toys. I'll stay here in the corner with my Victrola and my black-and-white TV...

The cell phone argument is true, if fundamentally flawed. The fact is that, better than half the time, I forget to use all the nifty exercise-related apps I have built into my phone. I remembered a couple days ago to turn on Map My Walk as we entered Wal-Mart, for example. As we exited, I found out that I had walked over a mile around the store. I would pat myself on the back if it weren't for the fact that we are at Wal-Mart every week, and this was the first time I had ever thought to turn the app on. I have been shorting myself of logged exercise for months.

I think that the real problem is that the idea of being constantly monitored quite simply freaks me out. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but do I really want a monitor on me 24 hours a day? I know it is reporting to my Fitbit app, but who else is it reporting to? Is marketing data about my movements being saved and sold?  Yes, I know that is already happening with my cell phone, but I can turn the cell phone off if I am feeling unusually exposed. Not only is there no way to turn a wrist monitor off, it sort of defeats the whole purpose of wearing one.

Also, the sad truth is that there has developed a whole Fitbit team in Lor's family, all now competing with each other to see who can walk the furthest in any day or week. I know, if I get one, I will be invited to join the group. And will be hanging my head in shame every single day as everyone else crests 10,000 steps a day and I barely make 200 or something. Shame is not a powerful motivator for me. Instead, it makes me want to go hide in the corner and play video games.

Sigh. I know, I know. Time to join this century and ride the wave of Fitness Awareness or whatever they call it. I know Lor well enough to know that, before the end of the year, I too will be wearing a shiny new fitness monitor on my wrist. I know the minute I post this, Facebook will be filled with commentary about how behind the times I am.

But, whenever my time comes, and I am then getting my "Steps-Per-Day" ass kicked by my 8-year-old niece, just remember - I will silently hold you all responsible.

Fearing The Plastic Shackle,

- Hawkwind

No comments:

Post a Comment