Three days ago, the band for my FitBit Flex broke, and I didn’t happen to have a backup handy, as I have in the past. This means that for the first time since around March 2012, I missed three consecutive days of collecting step data. The good news is that a replacement band (my 5th) is schedule to be delivered today.
The bad news is… well, there really is no bad news. It is not like I lost any steps. They simply were not counted. I can’t speak for others, but after a while, it seems like if you forget your FitBit (something that’s hard to do with a Flex since you wear it on your wrist) there is a panic because you will “lose the steps” for the duration. But that is nonsense. I still walk. I still take steps. The FitBit device is not the reality. It is only a mirror of reality. I can look into a mirror and see my reflection, but I don’t need the mirror to know I am there. The same is true with my FitBit.
I like data, and I am fascinated by looking at the data and digging out the ore, but I also understand that just because I didn’t collect the data doesn’t mean the thing didn’t happen. I think that is one trap of the quantified self movement–that we begin to substitute the numbers for the reality. If the numbers don’t exist, the reality never happened. And that, of course, is silly.
So I’ve gone these three days without my Flex, but I am okay with it. My left wrist feels strangely naked without the wristband, but that’s about it. I’ll have a gap in my data, but even that is okay. I have enough data (over three-and-half years’ worth) that missing a few days will not upset the overall numbers.
Still, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t eagerly awaiting the delivery truck today.