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He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Fitbit September 24, 2014

Posted by Peter Varhol in Technology and Culture.
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I continue my exploration with personal fitness technology, and today was an interesting day. Today started at about 4:50AM, when I prepared to go out walking/running with my Fitbit (I walk perhaps 2.5 miles, run 1.5 right now). Except that I forgot my Fitbit. In my defense, I was attempting to communicate with my sister and her daughter, who I had assisted in making their first trip to Europe overnight. At pre-dawn here on the US East Coast, I was ecstatic that they had reached Munich, their gateway airport, shortly before that time (final destination – Vienna).

So I was ten minutes out when I realized I forgot my recording device. I am of the ilk that it doesn’t count unless it was recorded, but it didn’t make sense to go back, so I didn’t. I recorded 41 minutes by my watch, but it’s not in my record, sigh.

The Fitbit talks to me, you know. Its UI is limited, but I always get a message when I put on my exercise clothes early in the morning. My favorite remains “Walk me, Peter”.

So my record is less than what I would prefer. Still. When I got home this evening, my new Nike+ Smartwatch with GPS was waiting for me. I plugged it in, and it’s telling me “Are we running today?” Well.

I’m curious about the encouraging messages. They seem friendly, but I don’t need my technology to be friendly. What I need is feedback on my progress. If I achieve some goal, it seems that my self-competitive nature makes me want to better that goal. But the personalization is intriguing.

So now I have two devices to carry with me tomorrow. Should I stay with the Fitbit, use the GPS watch, or both? My inclination is both. He’s not heavy; he’s my Fitbit.

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