RIP:  FitBit

I gave up.

My Fitbit band sits on my disheveled desk face down in the havoc that is my basement.  It is there with its plastic arms pointed emptily toward the sky like a dead bug one would find in a room corner.

Rest in peace.

My wrists are now bracelet free.  No more “tap, tap” to check on my status.  No more checking on my iPhone app for my daily step count.  No more waking up by wrist vibration.  (That last one was actually pretty cool.)

And I feel better for it.

I don’t know if FitBit will make it.  A lot of people like it and have fun with it.  But it didn’t work for me.

First, it told me things I already knew.  I would sit and pull up my FitBit data.  “You walked / ran a lot steps today!” it would report.  “Yup, knew that,” I thought.  Another day another check with the app.  “You didn’t do squat today,” it scolded.  “Yup, knew that,” I thought again.

I’m a pretty active guy.  I run, work out, stay pretty active.  I also am a modest work-a-holic.  I travel a lot.  I am forgetful but good with short-term memory.  I typically can recall what I did each day.  That is, I’m quite aware of how active I am.  At least I think I am.  FitBit wasn’t telling me anything that I couldn’t figure out with a few seconds of focused thought.

Second, FitBit didn’t give me any particularly insightful analysis as to why I was sedentary one day and hyper-active another.  Perhaps I was expecting too much.  But it would have been great if there was something there that said, “you know, every time you miss your morning run then you’ve a 50% chance of being a couch potato all day.”  Or something like that.   But again, that would be information that I could figure out without strapping an electrode to my wrist.  Fact is I already know that if I don’t do my morning run there’s a 50/50 chance there won’t be any workout in the afternoon.

Finally, I came to the realization that the wristband was more a lifestyle and fashion statement than health device.  At least for me.  I wore it because I thought it was a cool thing to do.  I guess it is.  But I also found it to be a pain in the ass.

Experts say that wearable technology – particularly wearable fitness technology – is the new, new thing.  I guess so.  They are experts, aren’t they?  But it so far isn’t working for me.  My observation is that these types of things work for those who are either very competitive or very complacent when it comes to fitness.  If you are competitive, you enjoy posting step counts on Facebook pages and challenging those “so you think you’re fit?” friends.  If you are complacent you need something like a string around your finger to get you to remember to do your workout.

I am both but would prefer not to have a machine constantly remind me.