One day at work I noticed that several of my staff at the clinic were running around giggling showing their wrist to each other. I got up to see what the fuss was about. Turns out they wear Fitbits and those little devices were reminding them to get up and move. Do you know what a Fitbit is? Well, officially they are fitness products that supposedly help one stay motivated to exercise and helps track our physical activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep. They were just recently sued by some individuals who say that the device doesn’t actually track very well. The psychologist in me, partly thinks, it doesn’t matter whether it is accurate as long as it truly motivates you to move around and attempt to be healthier. Although, there are some others who actually complain that these contraptions actually don’t help in losing weight but instead all they do is help them get fat. Seems extreme. I am sure that actual food consumption can get one fat. But onwards with my complaint.
I don’t like fads or getting on board with brands just because they are the so-called cool thing. I have a complicated relationship with Apple, for instance. I love my iPad. I really like my iPod. I hate, hate, hate, my mac laptop. I feel like I was severely lied to by society a a whole. I don’t get the love affair with Macs. My photographs are not that much better. My mac heats up quickly and loses power. My iPad, on the other hand, has endless hours of entertainment. But that is neither here or there in terms of my Fitbit complaint other than I hate fad”ish” brands and devices.
A while ago, I didn’t even want to consider a Fitbit. I walk 2 miles everyday on my own without any other motivation than I do not want the J-Lo derrière I am bound to get if I do NOT exercise. Hey, whatever motivates you I say. Then I started thinking about data and collecting data on myself and running my own experiments to see what actually leads to weight lose in my body type. I know, I am a nerd. A cool, fashionable, nerd. Anyway, I then asked for a Fitbit for my birthday and got one. It is a pretty purple one that actually matches many of my dresses.
Besides it being hard to put on and the fact that it actually doesn’t track very well, I have one major complaint about this type of device. It makes me pace. It makes me fret. It makes me be competitive with myself just when I was trying to whittle down my Type A tendencies. Every hour, if you haven’t walked 250 steps, it buzzes at you to remind you to do so. Nowadays, you can see me at 9pm at night pacing the length of my apartment to make that 250 count. It’s nuts. Thankfully, I hope, no one can see me being such a fool. The thing is by “pacing” that way, I believe I am signaling to my brain that something is wrong and that I need to worry. It’s a reverse biofeedback loop, of sorts. My heartbeat started accelerating and I could feel a frown coming on. I took off my Fitbit and my frown turned upside right.
The other day I got three Fitbit badge alerts. I had met repeated goals as set by the Fitbit itself. I don’t recall telling it I needed to take 10,o00 steps but sure enough the Fitbit lets me know when I have not only met that goal but when I have surpassed it. The other day I hit 20,000 steps. But now I have to go higher and higher. This is nuts. can I expect to keep surpassing myself?
Of course, I can just take it off. Or I can keep it on when it matches my attire and so be it. One thing I do wonder about is whether it is waterproof. I came to realize that my cell phone is. Did I mention that I am clumsy? How do I manage to take 20,000 steps without falling about? Now that is the real mystery here.