Tracking Device Addiction

Today, I was randomly reading an article, How technology companies are keeping you addicted too your phone” by Sophie McBain  in NewStatesman. The funny thing is that I was reading this article on my iPhone, while waiting for a phone call. I was particularly 15489204048_5f77eb4364_zinterested in this article, because of something that happened to me yesterday. Mondays are typically my easy run days (depending on how much fun I had on Sunday night). Although these are easy runs and time/pacing is not an issue, I was super upset that I left my Fitbit at home. Halfway to work (I take two buses), I actually considered going back home to get it. I think that I was upset, because my Fitbit app challenges are setup for working out five days a week and for walking/running steps a day. So, according to my Fitbit, I did not do anything, even though I did a 5.5 mile run and walked quite a bit.

The big question: Why do we let these devices “rule” our lives?

There are quite a few articles and top 10, 15, 20, etc. lists about Fitbit addictions (addictions that I think can be extrapolated to other tracking devices).

I feel that in some form or another, we get some sort of satisfaction from our devices telling us that we have completed an activity. Even though, we know that we completed a physical activity, somehow our own mental knowledge is not enough – well got to document.  There was even a social media movement known as #Stravafail, to complain when Strava would not accurately log a run. I know that some people will not even run if they do not have a GPS device strapped on. I’m a little bit the same but I rely more on music rather and a GPS device.  Hell,  if I do not have a GPS device (or my Runtastic app is not working), I will use to map out the run and figure out the distance and pace.

Back in my track & field and cross country days in high school (and for the first two weeks of college), we did not have these fancy devices. That said, I think that I was a better pacer in those days those days because I could pace myself based on how my body feels.

*I mentioned the first two weeks of college because I was on the cross country team for two weeks. Reason 1: Cross country practice was a 5:30am. Reason 2: Running in New Orleans humidity is not fun. Reason 3: I had other more social activities to do.

Final thoughts: I probably will not toss out my fitness tracking device. But, at least I am now aware of my “slight” addiction to it.

How “addicted” are you to your GPS/fitness tracking device?


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