I’m Your Fitness Tracker, and I’m Worried About You 

Good morning! It’s Tuesday, and the time is 8:27 a.m. Since your bedtime of 12:57 a.m., you spent a total of 4.1 hours asleep and 3.4 hours awake. I’m sorry you didn’t sleep well, but we really need to talk.

Since you purchased me 562 days ago, things have gone pretty well. You go about your life with me on your wrist, and I collect data and analyze your activities. We make a great team!

On March 13, however, I began noticing alarming changes in your routine. I didn’t say anything until now because I expected your behavior to return to normal. After all, we both know you’ve struggled in the past—I’m referring, of course, to the summer when you considered a pint of ice cream to be an appropriate serving size, as well as those several months when you apparently forgot you owned a treadmill. But we got through those rough spots together!

This time seems different, though, and I’m concerned. I’m wondering, did something happen in mid-March, either in your personal life or the world at large?

Anyway, let’s start with something simple. I was accustomed to being sprayed with water each day during your morning shower, but lately, this only occurs a couple of times a week—and never before noon. Don’t you think that washing your body that infrequently is a bit unsanitary? Speaking of water, remember when you used to wear me while you swam laps in the pool at your gym? Perhaps we can swim together again soon! But wait a minute, does your swimsuit still fit? I only ask because you’ve stopped entering your body weight values in my app and I lack the data to draw a conclusion. You might want to try on your suit, just in case!

Besides the pool, you know what else I miss? The great outdoors—and sunshine! You’ve spent most of your time inside lately, and I have to say, detecting sunlight through the windows just isn’t the same. Your home also feels a bit dimmer than it once did—I’m guessing that the window glass is no longer, shall we say, sparkling clean? Why don’t you give those windowpanes a good wipe? Maybe even get some vacuuming done? Now’s as good a time as any! Don’t forget, housecleaning activities raise your heart rate and burn calories! You do remember how to clean, right? I’m just checking! I’m sure you do.

Continuing on the theme of physical activity, I noticed that you entered 17.9 minutes of yoga in my app 112 days ago but haven’t recorded another session since. I assume you’re aware that humans can only reap the mental and physical benefits of yoga by maintaining a regular practice—three to five times per week is ideal! With that in mind, I’m wondering if those 17.9 minutes would have been better spent by scrubbing those dirty windows of yours. But you know how to best allocate your time. After all, it’s your life to waste—I mean, live! Your life to live.

I also feel like our relationship has suffered. When you originally customized my settings, you asked me to provide hourly “Get Up and Move!” alerts during your waking hours. But lately, you’ve been deleting these prompts by jabbing roughly at my screen. Remember, only a light tap of your finger is necessary! You wouldn’t want to damage me, would you? You’ve been reacting the same way when I gently vibrate for your daily wake-up alarm—including this morning, in fact, although I generously chose not to mention it earlier.

To summarize, it’s become clear to me that you need my help in resolving these issues, so I’ve come up with a plan. This isn’t a feature you’ll find in my manual—not that you’ve ever read, or even opened my manual—but I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it. After all, as I mentioned, I’ve been closely observing you for 562 days now, so I probably know you better than anyone—especially considering that you’ve had very minimal face-to-face contact with your fellow humans during the past five months, for whatever reason.

Here’s my idea: Perhaps I could draw on my battery power to give you a little “zing” when you need a behavior correction—I mean, a friendly reminder. You know, for very basic things like personal hygiene or exercise. Just a little buzz of electricity—not enough to harm a human, of course. Depending on how you respond to these cues, higher levels of electrical stimulation may be necessary, but that all depends on your enthusiasm and compliance. So really, it’s all up to you!

Let’s do it! Just like before, we’ll get through this together.