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Fitbit is the new Facebook

I am kind of obsessed with New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve been making them since I was about eight years old.

I’ve written many blog posts about the value and experience of them.

For Christmas this year, my husband gave me a Fitbit.

I didn’t really want a Fitbit, but my husband is great at convincing me to try new things. After all, my 2016 resolution involves walking the Bruce Trail end-to-end. Being able to track steps and speed is helpful.

But for a few days that Fitbit stayed in its box.

This might surprise you but I have this thing about sharing some personal information. Fitbit is not something you can wear and stay entirely private.

Sure, I can show you a dish from a favourite restaurant or the leaves falling from the trees on one of my walks. I run a Facebook page called The Daily Dude ( and I post a picture of my dog there every day. I’m active in #nostalgiachat on Twitter.

But, I don’t want you to know my age, height, weight, location of scars or birthmarks, and most specifically health information.

So I didn’t think I wanted others to know how many steps I take or stairs I climb or my heart rate. Nor did I think anyone cared about these things.

But there it is. That Fitbit. It creates an environment that encourages you to share that staff. Cheering you on. Offering you badges. Letting you share your status with others. Giving you a way to cheer or taunt your friends. Giving you things to talk about.

I had been wearing it less than a day and had several connection requests.

Fitbit is the new Facebook.

But it is worse because there’s so much personal information that can be shared.

Or is it? Am I walking more? Yes. Am I comparing my steps to others? Yes. Am I understanding the differences in my own exercise behaviour as compared to others? Yes.

Last week, my cousin, a nurse, asked me to participate in a weekday walking challenge. Of course, she completes more steps than I do on a daily basis, because her occupation puts her in motion all day. I declined the challenge but now I am asking myself what I would need to do as a person in HR to be able to compete with a nurse. Do I need to seek out projects that involve trips to the back of client facilities? Do I need to walk farther at lunch?

Not so long ago I started focusing on Facebook over Twitter or LinkedIn. I’ve long said that you can’t live your life on social media and one of the ways to manage your time is to focus. Maybe Fitbit is just another fad but now I am thinking about its value in social media.

What do you think of that?

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