An Open Love/Hate Letter To The Devices That Monitor Me
I'm sure you have been in a similar situation. Some things about technology I love, and some I resolutely do not.
I know there are probably dozens of ways my behavior is monitored, but there are two specifically that I'm going to talk about today. One that I love, and one that I hate. One is a little device that goes on the windshield of my car to get me discounts for safe driving. One is a smart watch that takes my blood pressure, checks my heart rate, and counts my steps.
Dear Safe Driving Thingy,
Thank you for coming into my life. You have made me a better driver! I like looking on my phone at my different trips and seeing where I could have done better (braking a little too hard when I get home, sorry). I like that you make me more aware of using turn signals and going the speed limit. It's like there's someone in the car with me to remind me to be safe! Not that I wasn't before, but you get what I mean. I'm more presently aware of it now. So, thank you for reminding me to drive carefully and thank you for saving me money on my car insurance.
Dear Health Smart Watch Thingy,
I love the idea of you. I do not love you in actuality. I'm sorry, but I'm going to be honest with you, and you're going to have to hear some unpleasant truths. You annoy me to the point that if I wasn't so incredibly stubborn, I would burn you in the fire pit in my backyard. I appreciate you were a gift, a gift meant to make me a healthier person. And so, I will keep you around. I will tolerate your existence. Don't get me wrong. I like that you tell me my heart rate. Sure, that's helpful. I don't think you're getting my blood pressure readings right, but you're trying. And sure, I could use reminders to drink water more regularly. And sure, I keeping me aware that I shouldn't be just at my desk all day is good.
But... there's a lot I just don't like about you. This might be hard to hear, but it needs to be said. Be strong, try not to take it personally. But I hate your weight, I hate the fact that you have to go on my non dominant hand, I hate the feeling of your plastic band on my skin, I hate the little impressions you leave on my wrist, I hate that I have to wear you to sleep. I hate it so much. I don't even like wearing socks or my wedding ring to bed, you think I want to wear you?! YOU? I hate it so much that I think about how unpleasant it is just about every thirty seconds. You don't look good. You're big and black and bulky. I get that you need an app, and you let me choose my own screen, but you simply will not allow me to put a picture of Kim Seokjin on your watch face, and that is incomprehensibly UNACCEPTABLE. I tried to wear you like I normally would on my right hand, but I simply cannot tolerate that level of annoyance. It's slightly less taxing to wear you on my left wrist. I'm sorry if you're hurt by that, but... I feel like I need to be honest with you.
Die In a Fire, Behka
Now, quick note to my wrist, if you could get used to this watch quickly please, that would be great. I want to forget that I'm wearing it any day now.
Do you have a smart watch or fit bit? Do you use anything to monitor your health, or your driving, or your whereabouts? What do you like about it? What do you hate about it?