FitBit – Tamagotchi for Adults


When our kids gave us a FitBit for Christmas, I had no clue what it was, but FitBit is like a Tamagotchi for adults. Remember those digital pets we babysat for our kids in the 90s? Well, FitbBit vibrates if you haven’t moved your butt in the past 30 minutes. A message flashes across the screen, “Wanna stroll?” And if you forget to feed FitBit with daily motion it will die. When I realized FitBit was another electronic gadget I was mortified because I am techno impaired. Alas, ze Frenchman to the rescue. Sure enough, he programmed that little wristband do everything except cook dinner.


For those not in the know, FitBit is a physical activity tracker designed to help you become more active,eat a more well-rounded diet, sleep better and live healthier. Or at the very the least, it can make you a more obsessive human being.

FitBit records time, measures motion, counts calories, steps, and stairs. It records pulse, tracks sleep, and differentiates between biking, hiking, skiing, climbing, strolling, and running.

FitBit data can be synced to an online account. You can track every breathing moment even while sleeping. Which may not be a good thing. Over morning coffee ze Frenchman checks my profile and scolds me, “Pot you did not sleep well. Only 4 hours and 18 minutes.”

“I know,” I grumbled. “Why do you think I wake up feeling like I’ve been run over by truck?”

For many FitBit is a great motivator. It collates data about your weekly fitness level and sends you virtual badges rewarding positive behavior.

London Underground Badge: You’ve walked 250 miles—as many as the world’s first underground railway.

My Frenchman, who is 62 going on 16, is really taken with it. Since retiring he never stops moving. He plays volleyball, lifts weights, skis, bikes, hikes and kayaks. With my bad feet, bad knees, and a bad back, I limp along a mile behind him.

“I am struggling to keep up with your dad,” I confessed to our daughter.

“Somebody needs to remind him he is retired.”

Good luck with that,” I said. “Your dad used to time his sisters when they walked to school. Now if FitBit shows we are not moving fast enough, he yells at me to hurry up.”

“Mom, what have we done?” Nat lamented, “FitBit will be the death of you.”

Ah, but for an old athlete I can’t think of any better way to go… on the move breaking records.

Posted in humor, inspiration, sport.


  1. Oh, Pat, you’re too funny!! As long as we keep moving, we’re OK. I’ve been thinking of getting a FitBit and you’ve nudged me to get with the program.????

  2. Pat, you make me laugh. FitBit has bee around for years! But you are right, it is getting more and more sophisticated and gives way more data than it used to. Kacie has been wanting one for years and her sisters have threatened every Christmas and birthday to get one for you but I tell them, “NOOOOO!” She is already overly compulsive enough. They ignored me this year and she has had one for five months and is doing great. What will they come up with next?

    • You are such a exercise fanatic, you don’t really need one. I am glad Kacie likes her new toy as long as FitBit doesn’t take over her life like you said. Fortunately it will never take over mine because I will never figure out how to use all its different options. ha

  3. Good luck with ‘ze technologie’ and your frisky Frenchman! 🙂 Great article Pat, as usual. I am a little bit fascinated by all the new fitness technology, but only from a research perspective. Although I run regularly and do yoga, I don’t like the idea of monitoring my daily activity. I prefer to go with the flow and feel how my body feels as I exercise, adjusting pace and distance according to my inner dialogue with my body. I think it comes from being so heavily accountable in my workplace and just needing time for self as I undertake physical activity. My current research is on body governance in physical education, and fitness trackers could well be an extension project for me in the future. It ties in with being a good active citizen and self-regulation being a 21st century directive from the powers that be. Love all that sociological slant to things! ???? hugs and keep on moving dear ex-athlete Pat – our bodies always thank us for it xx

    • Great advice Rachel…one should always go with the flow and feel of the body when exercising and in knowing when to exercise. Sometimes athletes have a tendency to over train, which as you know only tears down the muscle. I will be interested in following your next research project. One does have to wonder when all that “self regulation in the 21st century” becomes counterproductive and self defeating. Who would have ever dreamed when we were kids and lived to run, jump & play that one day human beings would need a monitor to remind them to move?

    • Ha ha ha ditigal evidence of laziness. That is a good one. You would be surprised though Michelle to find that actually FitBit shows you are moving a lot more than you think.

  4. I like to use the Health app on my iPhone. I check all day long to see if I’ve gotten in my 10K steps. I don’t reach my goal every day, but I’m getting better at it.

    • If it makes you feel better Helene, I rarely hit that 10K step mark either. But at least we tried and I think that counts extra for good intentions.

  5. Domer has one of those contraptions and loves it! I, on the other hand, would rail at the “nerve” of a technological device reminding me to exercise, then “scolding” me for failing to do so, ha! Good for you, Pat. Whatever helps you get up and GO sounds like a good idea to me!

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