Introducing the Talking Fitness Tracker

Awhile back, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and get a Fitbit. Actually, my doctor threw me on the bandwagon. After decades of being able to sleep like the dead, I found myself waking up and not feeling rested most days. “Just get a fitness tracker,” he advised. “See how well you’re really sleeping.”

“OK,” I thought, “I’ll bite.” I started with the basic model, but I recently upgraded to the Fitbit Alta HR™.

I have to say, I love this thing. As to the sleep tracking, I’m both gratified and annoyed to see that I do, in fact, still sleep like the dead. All I can think of is that my body, as is typical for me, is behaving in a way contrary to all published medical science. It seems that the older I get, the more sleep I need – it’s like my body has regressed to its 15-year-old self. Of course, my metabolism hasn’t regressed to its 15-year old self.

Even more insulting, my desire to move my body hasn’t improved either, despite the Fitbit’s gentle warnings to do so. According to Robbie Gonzalez at Wired, science shows that generally speaking, these trackers aren’t working for us, although he recommends wearing one anyway. I do too.

But I’ve been thinking – perhaps our fitness trackers need to encourage us in a different way.

Fitness Tracker
This isn’t me – do you see a Talking Fitness Tracker? Didn’t think so.
The Talking Fitness Tracker

Introducing a groundbreaking new product, one that’s not actually real: the Talking Tracker. Let’s call it “T squared”, or T2. Rather than subtle buzzing/vibrating/reminding and/or exhortations to “make it social!” (i.e., join a social media group so that you can be encouraged humiliated into getting more physical activity), this imaginary tracker will – your choice! – gently remind you and/or berate you into getting healthy. Note: I have no idea if any of the current crop of fitness trackers talk; if they do, I guarantee that the T2 is better. First of all, it’s imaginary, which automatically means it’s better than anything you can buy today.

The T2 provides you with a choice of two settings: Dominatrix and Caregiver. It will issue verbal commands as follows, depending on your setting:

If you need to...The Talking Tracker Will Say...
Dominatrix SettingCaregiver Setting
Get more physical activityMove, bitch! [You can set your gender]Perhaps you should take a five-minute walk.
Go back to sleepYou're a loser. No one else is awake at this hour.Let me sing you a lullaby.
Eat healthier foodsYou're a fat pigI bet an apple would taste great, and you'll feel better too!
Get more cardioYou're kidding, right? You call this "exercise"?Ooh! Your heart LOVES this pace!

If you buy this imaginary product, I can’t promise that you’ll get in shape. But in my imaginary world, it’s working just fine. ⧉




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