Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lost Anonymity or Will Fitbit Change My Life?

Casual Runner by  Chris Hunkeler (Flickr)
Yesterday, a relative sent me a friend invite on Fitbit. I didn’t even know you could have friends on Fitbit. To be honest, I hadn’t looked closely at the fitness app’s features, just opening it up once and awhile to log too many calories and not enough exercise. (I don’t have one of the tracker devices.)

Unlike being “discovered” on other social media, this was a little disconcerting. Sure, Fitbit doesn’t report personal information like your target weight and such, just the number of steps logged, badges earned, and friends. But still…It’s not like connecting on Facebook. It’s more like connecting on Yelp – You shop there? – but then some. Do I really want people to know I’m working towards some goal…and haven’t gotten anywhere near obtaining it?

On the other hand, maybe that’s why it’s been so easy to get off course. Without accountability, without positive support, it’s very difficult to achieve goals in life, whether they involve advancing your education, pursuing a new career, or finding a new relationship. I know that from personal experience.

Maybe the Fitbit friend invite was a sign – a sign that in order to actually make progress on my diet and exercise, I need to connect with others, rather than running a lone race. Maybe what I’ve needed all this time was some motivation. Fitbit might only report positive achievements, but silence will speak volumes. Maybe I’ll finally get off my chair and get a tracker. It can’t hurt…much.

And yes, I did accept the friend request.