FitBit burned a hole in my head

I got a FitBit for some reason I’m not clear on: my dad suggested it, like when you recommend something to someone to help justify it for yourself, and my wife left hers at a friend’s house who then lost it and bought another one which my wife ran through the laundry she thinks, and was entitled to a replacement through the Target Warranty Purchase Plan.

So I called the number and started the process. I never used a FitBit, had only a loose understanding of how they work. I had the kind of attitude I don’t need a stupid device to convince me to exercise.

I thought I’d just call and explain it doesn’t work and they’d give me like an RA or something so I could send it back but instead, they want to troubleshoot to verify it truly doesn’t work.

She starts asking me to perform basic functions with the FitBit and I have to lower myself to pretend, to act it out, to say Hold on, as I feign activity on the other end of the line.

And I shake my head on the phone and say Nope, it’s still not working, and she approves me for whatever is next, which I’m not clear about either.

A week later we get a new FitBit in the mail and I take it into Target, to explain 1) I got this from FitBit because that’s what Target told me to do, and 2) I want to upgrade it to a different model and exchange this device.

But this is difficult because the unit I’m returning doesn’t have a number associated with it in the Target system.

Despite, the enthusiastic Target associate manipulates the POS through some deftery others gather around to observe, to enable my exchange.

I’m about Week 2 with the FitBit now. I never take it off, except to shower, a couple times a week. Tonight, I got into bed with my book and pushed the button out of boredom, just to see where I was with my step count.

I was just shy of 20,000, which had never happened before. I thought maybe it would vibrate or I’d get a fucking email with a squirrel on it or something if I hit 20,000, so I got up and walked downstairs in the dark, naked, hitting the button to see had I gotten 20,000 yet?

Interacting with your house in the dark is like being on acid: everything is familiar but distinctly different at the same time, maybe dangerous. It’s a metaphor for the unknown, the dark. It’s with us always and where we need to be if we want to Pass Through.

I start pacing the different rooms on the first floor, thinking this is ridiculous, and realize I’m over 20,000 and it hasn’t even done anything yet.

I’m coming up on my 500th post, I think. And what an accomplishment that will be, right? (Word count: 491.)

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
This entry was posted in Humor and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to FitBit burned a hole in my head

  1. Tish Farrell says:

    “Interacting with your house in the dark is like being on acid: everything is familiar but distinctly different at the same time, maybe dangerous. It’s a metaphor for the unknown, the dark. It’s with us always and where we need to be if we want to Pass Through.” Nice.
    On the other hand, I have no idea what a FitBit is, Bill. It sounds like something I definitely don’t need to google 🙂

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Uh, us Americans. No need for FitBit, there. Not in Shropshire, in the West Midlands. There’s really a limit to things we need to track. I’m not sure we need to track anything, maybe our expenses if it’s a legal requirement, for the government. And why can’t they automate that, so I can spend my time gardening or tinkering, instead?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tish Farrell says:

        According to Dr Mercola on your side of the pond at http://www.mercola.com – all you need to do is keep remembering to stand up – no sitting. Also get plenty of sun – which is a bit difficult for us in northerly climes. Oh yes, and give up ‘low fat’ as everything said about it is complete rubbish.

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  2. byebyebeer says:

    David Sedaris wrote a hilarious piece on Fitbit. He turned it into something productive, if obsessively so, and now has a trash truck named after him, or something like that. I like the description of walking around the house in the dark and the bit about the squirrel email. (You know those fuckers would wear out a Fitbit in a month. Also, autocorrect keeps capitalizing Fitbit.) Those were some meaty 491 words, more meal than snack.

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    • pinklightsabre says:

      Oh that David Sedaris, I miss him. No one has a voice like him, right? Not quite. Like if Pee Wee Herman were smart and interesting and dark, maybe. Bad — you can do better. Or maybe it’s best just to not compare him to anyone because he’s incomparable.

      It’s funny what you say about squirrels wearing FitBits. I like that: David would like that too. I hope you’re cooking up something for this week. I really liked that axehanginginatreephobia or what have you.

      Like

      • byebyebeer says:

        I just read Pee Wee Herman has a movie in the works. Direct to netflix, probably where it belongs though I’ll always be a fan. I’m not sure if I’ll stick to posting the weird stories because I have a job change in the works. I may still crank them out in Word or old school pen and paper … these stories still need telling, yo. Thank you, as always, for your kind words.

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  3. Karen says:

    I got the FitBit One for Christmas–I’m afraid it’s a bit more technology than I need (I’ve worn simple pedometers for years to track my distance when I run), and I haven’t yet examined all its bells and whistles.

    Anyway, I’ve noticed inaccuracy as well when I began running indoors during this awful spell of cold weather we’ve had. And who knows? It may have been inaccurate all this time, I just didn’t have anything to compare it to before I got on the treadmill.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      I’m sorry about your awful spell of bad weather, I catch clips of that. I am here gloating in the Pacific Northwest, with first signs of spring. But when it comes to you, it will feel so good. Shoot for Easter, that’s when we’re coming back there and that would be perfect. Birds, leaves, everything. 60s: think on that, no FitBits. FitBit go away now.

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  4. rossmurray1 says:

    That didn’t take long. “Dance, my puppet, dance!”
    FitBit should be called Body Google — we need to know everything! Love the image of you faking it on the phone.
    Last night I heard voices coming from downstairs. I thought it was my wife breathing at first, it was that low, but then it was definitely voices, like a radio alarm. I got up and saw the glow from downstairs. Down I went. The dog, curled up on the sofa, turned to me like, “What.” The TV was on, the remote on the sofa beside the dog. The channel was the cable company info channel. I figured it all out quickly, but there’s always a part that thinks “poltergeist.” So you’re right about the dark.
    We may have been pacing the house around the same time. Must have been the grilled cheese.

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    • pinklightsabre says:

      Dance, puppet, dance! Well at least someone is moving the strings in this shadowplay, thank you for that. I enjoyed your story and the Poltergeist image. I read that book when I was about 12, I think. The book is much gorier than the film. I think both are freaking brilliant. In the book, there’s a scene where the main protagonist (I think the dad, maybe) is watching his face slowly decompose in the mirror. That was disturbing, and something better for books than film. I’m looking forward to your next rant, RM. And I was thinking in bed last night as I Lay Dying with DFW that you never posted your thoughts on the book. But I will let you off the hook because you probably never agreed to get on it anyway (the hook) and I’m cool like that, but I won’t forget. Some things I don’t.

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      • rossmurray1 says:

        Jesus, what can I say? No, really, I’m asking, what can I say?
        The face-decomposing bit made it into the movie, if I recall, or someone tearing his own face off. I hear Sam Raimi is working on a remake.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. We have a Fitbit in our house. I suspect it’s tracking our every move. Something clicked with me regarding all this health technology. It’s just another misdirect for our attention, another step away from intuition and paying attention to what our bodies have been shouting at us for years.
    When I went vegan, I used a software program to track nutrition, since everybody flips out when you don’t eat meat or dairy. It had graphs, which looked suspiciously like a PowerPoint presentation I’d once seen.
    My husband tossed off his Fitbit after an upgrade removed a standalone option and began uploading all his health data to a centralized server. We’re not conspiracy theorists per se, but it’s all getting just a little too integrated.
    But I might change my mind for a squirrel email, although I’d likely end up getting a sloth or tortoise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Not that we have to compare, but I think this comment was more interesting than my post, which is indicating to me that’s maybe a big part of this whole blog-thing is the commenting. Thank you Michelle. I know you’re unplugging so I won’t make this a direct question you’ll feel like you should answer, but my wife was telling me earlier this week about the Internet Of Things (IOT) and how there’s this desire to like connect everything. And because it’s IT and innovation, you can betcha there are project teams and master minds scrambling in their cube-caves now trying to figure out how to like connect with one another so they can connect the while goddamned internet, with all its patch chords and cables and flashy devices and data. Now there is a story idea right? You betcha, Luigi.

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  6. walt walker says:

    I have never heard of this thing which you call a “FitBit.” It sounds like they should’ve put a flashlight on it.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      You really are in a bubble. Are you part of a religious sect that only blogs, and keeps its kids from vaccines and Star Wars?

      I am thinking on your blog post challenge. I don’t know if I want to allow it to compete with my other Big Idea, but I view you a friend and want to stamp out crickets.

      Like

  7. If you shake it a whole bunch it will think you are walking so then you don’t even have to get out of bed. That is, unless you like to stroll your house in the dark with nada clothing on.

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    • pinklightsabre says:

      Yes: I helped the septic guy dig three holes earlier this week, to save myself like $150. I about died, digging. But I got a lot of “steps” for it! It should have a light on it, or scanning capability to make purchases. The IOT: Internet Of Things.

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  8. Love the observation on wandering the house in the dark – spot on. All your stuff kinda leers at you when you come across it in the dark, waiting for a moment’s inattention to leap out and cause stubbed toes.
    I got a fitbit last year, when the workplace was sponsoring a long-term walking event – we all recorded our steps, and someone charted the participants steps on a map to see how far we’d collectively ‘walked.’ Wandered about the US for almost a year this way – with weekly tidbits landing in our email boxes on minute details of where we ended up.
    My metaphysical feet got real tired.
    When work ended the program, the fitbit got shelved. It was too depressing to find out how much activity I’m NOT getting.

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    • pinklightsabre says:

      I had a friend who did the same with his work, Peg. It makes me think these devices are part of an integrated corporate scheme. But there I go sounding backwoods. I’m glad you liked the part about the dark, that was my favorite part, or why I decided to open the laptop and write this before going to bed. Cheers, – Bill

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  9. ksbeth says:

    i am possibly the worst tech person on the planet and also don’t have any desire to have a robot/tech advice follow me, track me, make up stats about me, alter my behavior, take up a spot on my body, etc. i love your faking it while on the phone thing, like when i fake writing down a phone # or confirmation # that i’m not really interested in. the best is when they ask you to repeat it back ) ps – loved the walking in your house in the dark bit and to ross, the horrible clown was the absolute worst part of poltergeist.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      I’m doing research now on AI as I’m intrigued with a story idea that fits in the sci-fi realm. Because I was trained as a writer to treat sci-fi as “don’t go there,” I feel kind of crude admitting that’s what I’m interested in writing, but so be it. Ray Bradbury seems like a fine enough dude, to me. A brilliant dude, in fact.

      As I read more about it, it seems there are purists about the Cyborg thing who insist if you use like even hearing aids, that makes you part-machine. So yes: it’s ironic I have this thing strapped to my pulse and I’m writing an anti-technology story.

      And funny you call yourself the worst-tech, because look at the community you’ve created and become a part of, here! Isn’t that funny! I like the paradoxes, as I’m nothing without.

      And I must say and thank you for being that person who’s like a lucky ladybug with your positive words and smile. That spirit goes a long way, thank you Beth.

      Like

      • ksbeth says:

        a bit ironic, isn’t it? all of my tech has come about through trial and error, almost at an accidental level – and thus my tech-tenuous connection to the blogging community. as for sic-fi – ray bradbury is one of my favs, especially “something wicked this way comes,” about a small-town carnival, title borrowed from shakespeare – its impact has never left me. also, one of my other all-time favs, rod serling, who was political and had strong opinions about important things, but was too much at the mercy of the censors, and chose to instead send his message through the genre of sic-fi, as no one understood the rules, leaving him to create “the twilight zone” on an open playing field. p.s. happy to be the ladybug

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      • pinklightsabre says:

        That Bradbury story is also one of my favorites. I think he also wrote All Summer in a Day, about a planet where the sun only comes out for a few minutes once every 20 years or so. The kids lock one of the girls in the closet so she misses it. My facts could be wrong, but that’s the basic premise. And I like borrowing from Shakespeare, alright. MacBeth is one of my favorites, so rich in source material and themes…especially the theme, don’t F with nature.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. sweetsound says:

    WordPress congratulated me on making 1337 posts the other day. How random. But that’s why I love WordPress I guess. Would love to get a fitbit but I cant justify the cost, even if it is considered one of the better value-for-the-money items.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      I know – they congratulated me when I got 1337 followers and I thought it was a glitch. I think WP is so cool I must say, which is not cool to fawn over I suppose, but I don’t care. I’m glad to be here and grateful. Grateful to you, too. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

      Like

      • sweetsound says:

        Damn, I must be your nerdiest follower, if I may be self involved enough to suppose so. Apparently 1337 is some kind of hacker speak for “leet” or elite. Very clever WordPress, you cheeky bastard. Congrats on your followers and good luck on your new career. For the love of writing! Cheers.

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Cheers is right, all buttons and badges aside. Thank you.

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      • pinklightsabre says:

        And if you’re my nerdiest follower you deserve a badge for that so what do you want? A playlist? Hit me.

        Like

      • sweetsound says:

        Yeah a playlist would be nice, thanks. I think 1337 songs sounds about right. Also sorry but I can’t hit you when I’m here and you’re there. That probably wouldn’t be very fair anyway since I’m a girl and I’m guessing you wouldn’t feel right about hitting me back.

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