Matt and Amy have been using a FitBit and liking the daily feedback about exercise, sleep, diet, heart rate that the wearable device provides. So, I got one for myself: the FitBit Alta HR, the newest model.
Instead of wearing a watch, I now have a black device on my wrist that tells time of day and date, number of steps taken, heart rate [resting and while active], distance covered, and calories burned. The device, if I wear it at night, records my sleep patterns — kind of interesting, although likely not 100% reliable. The wearable device syncs with an app on my phone, which gives an easily readable profile of my daily activity and awards me badges for reaching certain exercise goals. I can ask it to remind me to move every hour, or to drink more water, or to chart what I eat. I can share the data with friends — not something I would do, and I’ve marked everything “private” — apparently to create some sort of online exercise community.
Slowing down the effects of aging is an important life goal for me at this stage, and a FitBit is a tool to help make that goal more realizable. In exchange, I have a device with two flashing green lights on the underside on my wrist at all times unless I take it off, and I reveal more of myself online. If you hack into my account you can find out how much I weigh, and how much I want to weigh, and whether I’m on track to get there. If you want to know what my resting heart rate is, you can find that too. I’m not charting what I eat because I find that thought annoying, so if you’re curious about what I had for dinner last night you’re out of luck.
How do you feel about the trade-off between online tools and privacy? Do you have a FitBit, or would you buy one? Just curious.