Wearable technology is all the rage these days.
Need proof? Look at the wrists of the people around you. No doubt, several of them are wearing one of those activity-tracking bracelets.
Need more proof? Writer David Sedaris has written a very funny piece about his relationship with his Fitbit for this week's edition of the New Yorker.
The Fitbit – a fancy version of a pedometer – vibrates when you’ve reached your walking goal, he explains. In the article, Sedaris describes how he became addicted to meeting – and increasing – his activity goals.
"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."
He increased his goal from 10,000 steps per day to 25,000 steps – or about 10.5 miles per day. His pants started fitting differently, he writes, and his face grew thinner.
He reached 60,000 steps per day - with aspirations for more. But one day, his device died.
"I was devastated when I tapped the broadest part of it and the little dots failed to appear. Then I felt a great sense of freedom. It seemed that my life was now my own again. But was it? Walking twenty-five miles, or even running up the stairs and back, suddenly seemed pointless, since, without the steps being counted and registered, what use were they? I lasted five hours before I ordered a replacement, express delivery. It arrived the following afternoon, and my hands shook as I tore open the box. Ten minutes later, my new master strapped securely around my left wrist, I was out the door, racing, practically running, to make up for lost time."
Do you have a Fitbit? What's your relationship to it? Did you have an experience similar to David Sedaris'? Tell us about it in the comments section below, or e-mail us at Impatient@scpr.org.
If you don’t have one, but are in the market, the New York Times’ Well blog has this great guide to activity trackers.