Monday, January 2, 2012

Friendless in Fitbitland

A couple of months ago, I upgraded from a perfectly fine pedometer to Fitbit, which can track not only steps but also (it says) the quality of your sleep, synching it all to your Fitbit log. It works as advertised, but I've been letting it slide lately, with all the holiday distractions.

Could be the normal post-honeymoon crash, of course. Self-improvement plans can be fascinating for a few days -- me, it's all about me! -- but they tend to lose their luster as the real world comes back into focus. In this case, though, I think Fitbit's web folks have to share the blame. Whenever I log on to my "dashboard," I see this annoying personal message in the right margin of the page:

 Friends make Fitbit more fun

You don't have any friends yet.
Find friends. [link] 

"You don't have any friends." Seriously. I would understand (maybe) if Facebook nagged like this -- FB is all about friends, and I barely check in often enough to qualify as a lurker. But Fitbit's job is to help me keep moving, not prod me to bore my friends (yes, they exist) with daily exercise stats. 

No doubt there are crowds of Fitbit friends out there, spurring each other to ever higher mileage totals, and if it works for them, who could object? But Fitbit, it's bad manners and bad business to insult customers who prefer not to share. You don't want to be remembered as the guys who put the "bitter" in Fitbitter.


Kay L. Davies said...

Interesting. I just checked out Fitbit, and I'm afraid I don't walk enough to justify it. LOL
Happy 2012.

Grammar Parrot said...

I had a Fitbit and thought it was kind of nice that it was so small and it proved that I indeed to need to walk more (which any pedometer would have done). The sleep timer is a joke. You can set any timer to tell you how long you've had the timer set. Doesn't mean you were actually asleep, nor does it say anything about the quality of your sleep. I liked their little "go karla!" messages, but at the end of the day, it was just a pedometer. I didn't have it long enough to see the mean messages, I guess. But every Marketing dept. these days is all about social media. It's like the old shampoo commercial "if you tell two friends, then they tell two friends, and so on, and so on..."

Bryan White said...

The frownie face is just salt in the wound, isn't it?

DeeDee Stewart said...

Oh Jan,
I've had similar experiences with online health is pretty boring talk, this mileage or fitness or food tracking. We're better off with pen and paper (regarding mileage AND connecting with friends) and a Mary Oliver poem about why she loves to walk.