How many of you are using Fitbit? Raise your hands. (I think arm motion counts as movement, right?) I am not using Fitbit. I do not ever plan to use Fitbit. The last thing I need is some device spying on my every move. I’m a grown woman. I know how many calories I consume. I know how much or how little I move. I do not need some snotty little righteous armband or clip informing me about my physical well-being. Fitbit is not now or will never be the boss of me.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Fitbit, let me explain what it is. It is a magical little pain in the neck that measures your exercise, diet and sleep.
The Fitbit is either an electronic clip that goes on your pants pocket, or it’s a wristband, like a watch. It counts the steps you take each day, the calories you consume each day and how much sleep you get each night.
Some (sadistic) people enter a lot of data in their Fitbits so they can achieve the maximum benefits of the device. From that information and the Fitbit tracking, the wearer is supposed to get healthy and stay healthy.
George has a Fitbit. But George works out. George eats right. George has a waistline. George has never gone through childbirth or menopause (they are my standard excuses). I always know when George has been inactive on a certain day, because he will tap at his Fitbit, then start marching in place or walking up and down the hall while staring at his wrist. When he reaches his 10,000 steps, he announces it.
I have learned to ignore this behavior. Our dog Mojo, however, is intolerant of it, and here’s why. We are usually treated to this behavior at night, after dinner, before bed. That is the time that Mojo likes to relax and unwind after his busy day. In order for him to do so, George and I need to be in our places on the couch. Not marching in place in front of the TV or walking up and down the hall. On the couch. That Fitbit-inducing behavior is disruptive and unnecessary in Mojo’s opinion. Needless to say, Mojo is not a fan of Fitbit, either.
Fitbit also tracks your sleep. If you are lying down and not moving but still breathing, the Fitbit will record that you are asleep. So okay. What if I am lying down, not moving, still breathing but not sleeping? Perhaps I fell. Perhaps I am just lying down, not moving, breathing but my eyes are wide open. Does Fitbit then lie and say I’m sleeping?
If you are in bed tossing and turning, can’t fall asleep, too much on your mind, too hot in the room, too cold in the room, blanket is itchy, sheet is bunched, partner is snoring, dog is hogging the bed, what was that noise, the Fitbit will record that you are awake. Well, thank you, Mr. Obvious. The bags under my eyes tell me that every morning. That and the dozing off at my desk by 2 p.m.
And don’t get me started on the burning calories tracking. I am 59 years old. I did not just fall off the turnip truck. I am fully aware that if I eat 12 mini Hershey bars and don’t do any exercise other than walking to the couch, I am not burning enough calories. Or if I happen to have a dish of ice cream with chocolate sauce and pretzels crumbled up on top and have not walked 47 miles that same day, chances are pretty darn good that I have not burned enough calories in that 24 hour period. I certainly do not need some slim and attractive little colorful wristband to tell me. I have enough awareness (and enough guilt) without Fitbit rubbing it in.
I am sure that Fitbit is a wonderful device. It must be, because every other person I see is wearing one. But I fear that Fitbit is a big fat liar and I choose not to associate with devices that lie.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.