The Headache Machine

We all know that the use to which a particular technology can be put is only in your hands till such time that it becomes public. I wanted to find some weird uses of technology. This is what I love about the internet I tell you. Every time I want to find some weird examples, somebody has already helpfully written an article on it, leaving me to twiddle my thumbs and stand around. I love the one where the egg is fried on a hot laptop.

http://www.zdnet.com/weird-tech-12-geeky-uses-for-technology_p12-7000010007/#photo

Anyway, the product I am about to touch upon today is the FitbitFitbit might have modeled its products for a range of uses such as measuring activity, promoting a healthy lifestyle or a move to encourage active living. I don’t think they saw it as a Headache Machine.

A friend of mine who works with preschool and elementary school children on a regular basis got herself a Fitbit. All day long, the curious children wanted to know what it was, why it was used and were thrilled with the fact that every time they pressed the button, a number bigger than before came up. In a few hours, the situation was encompassing a wide spectrum of emotions such as :

* Competitiveness (It must be 500 more. Nope: she was not walking while drinking that cup of water. Want to bet? )

* Entitlement (She will show it to me whenever I ask. I am a good boy.)

* Pessimism (Maybe it is only 2000 steps now – she sat for sometime, so it should have reduced steps said the algorithmic expert)

* Altruism (I am tired but I can walk with it for you to increase your step count)

Headache machine
Headache machine

One particularly persistent child asked to see the device about 7 times every 15 minutes.  It was at the end of this long day that she told them all that it was a headache machine. The children looked at it in awe and shushed themselves. Reminds me of this article I read a while ago on the Fitbit.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/06/30/140630fa_fact_sedaris?currentPage=all

Sounds about right. A headache machine it is. Ever since I acquired one, I hold 10,000 steps as a holy grail. I don’t want to run because it records less strides for the same distance. I would rather sidle up to the daughter to get her to bring me the Fitbit from upstairs or invent a huge contraception to get me the Fitbit when I no longer have it, than to waste those steps in going to get it. Do unrecorded steps help in your statistics? No, they don’t! Yoga? Swimming? Cross-Fit? Don’t bother mentioning those forms of exercise that don’t count towards my step goals. The worst is when I am really tired and hit the bed and see 13689 on my fitbit. Just 311 steps more to make it a round 14000? Come on! I tell myself and off I go.

There are ways I could help myself I suppose, like not taking Fitbit with me, but what if I want to use it the next day? My weekly average numbers would take a toss.

What would really help is the calorie counter. The Fitbit helpfully counts the steps I take to forklift a load of <insert healthy or unhealthy snack here>, but does not tell me how much I ate? What it needs to do is detect the chomp rate and prorate the step counter accordingly. A headache for the company maybe ….

Advertisements

1 thought on “The Headache Machine”

  1. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative.
    I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s