Stepping Out: a report on Fitbit, via The New Yorker (recommended reading)

I was travelling myself when I got my Fitbit, and because the tingle feels so good, not just as a sensation but also as a mark of accomplishment, I began pacing the airport rather than doing what I normally do, which is sit in the waiting area, wondering which of the many people around me will die first, and of what. I also started taking the stairs instead of the escalator, and avoiding the moving sidewalk. “Every little bit helps,” my old friend Dawn, who frequently eats lunch while hula-hooping and has been known to visit her local Y three times a day, said. She had a Fitbit as well, and swore by it. Others I met weren’t quite so taken. These were people who had worn one until the battery died. Then, rather than recharging it, which couldn’t be simpler, they’d stuck it in a drawer, most likely with all the other devices they’d lost interest in over the years. To people like Dawn and me, people who are obsessive to begin with, the Fitbit is a digital trainer, perpetually egging us on. During the first few weeks that I had it, I’d return to my hotel at the end of the day, and when I discovered that I’d taken a total of, say, twelve thousand steps, I’d go out for another three thousand.

Gerd comments: I tried fitbit for a while but found it rather annoying – can’t help feeling more like a quantified slave rather than a quantified self:)

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