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The first time I saw a FitBit, I was intrigued with the idea. How nice, a device that kept track of my heart rate, steps, and, if I logged on, how many calories I consumed. Clever. All that technology in a little bitty bracelet.
Then I started seeing people’s numbers showing up on Facebook. Similar to the “why do I need to know this?” software that tells Facebook where you are every time you change locations in your car, I didn’t really need to know that someone I knew has taken 1,000 steps that day.
Numbers are my friends, but too many numbers and I can stop worrying about Big Brother, I can start worrying about me. Or my bracelet. It broadcasts more information that a parolee’s ankle monitor.
Happy as I am to check numbers–diabetics willingly stab themselves several times a day–I’ve also gotten really good at checking in with how I feel to monitor my numbers. We’re losing a lot of feeling to numbers. After monitoring my blood sugar, I realized that often I didn’t feel well if I ate something that had too many carbs. That rarely happens now because I notice my body and verify with my meter.
I know how I feel after a good workout or a five-mile walk. I know (without checking my computer) if I got a good night’s sleep. I know which Hogwarts dorm I want to be assigned to, not because I took the Facebook “quiz,” but because I read the books.
I love math, I am rooted in science, but let’s not throw out intuition and poetry because it’s not an infogram.
—Quinn McDonald is a geek, but it’s probably word geekishness that makes her happy.