Once upon a time I shared the story of The Walking Princess.
not this princess.
I draped the story in lighthearted prose—but it certainly was one which disturbed me.
The terse version of my 2011 tale being there once was a woman who walked our Austin neighborhood.
She walked it all day every day.
Id pass her as I drove out to run errands and she’d invariably still be walking when I returned hours later.
The Walking Princess (as the then four year old called her) still walked and graduated from listening to ear buds to carrying a book.
We, her neighbors, worried.
We, her neighbors, wondered where her parents were in this scenario.
We, her neighbors, thought her hours upon hours of walking rather odd.
Flash forward a few years and we’ve become a nation of Walking Princesses (and Princes).
We are all pacing and house walking and stepping and shuffling veritable slaves to the step count on our wearable pedometers.
I’m the first to agree owning a pedometer made me a better mother.
The thing is, however, as I watched a woman in the grocery line yesterday, I wondered if we’ve gone too far.
I observed as she stood in line impatiently fidgeting and shifting her weight from foot to foot.
I noted as she seemed to check the time–repeatedly–as if she were late for an appointment.
I listened as she sighed deeply at the s-l-o-w customers ahead of her.
After the routine repeated I finally realized what she was checking was not a watch, but a wearable.
Obsessively peeking to see if the number had changed as she almost imperceptibly shuffled in place.
filled with information. blessing and curse.
We’ve become a nation of house walking, wiggling, shuffling, freaking OUT if we lose /forget our wearable *obsessed* Princesses & Princes.
And Ive begun to wonder if this is a good thing?
I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t just the American way?
We seize a positive (goal of 10,000 steps per day!), super size it, and morph it into a darker obsession.
Friends tell me I’m not wearable-addicted because I’m not numbers driven.
They could be right?
I might buy into the frenzy if the damn counter didn’t return to zero each night.
number of steps to morning coffee.
Or if a wearable could register absolutely everything fun and PLAYout in my day.
wearables can’t measure this!
But it does and it can’t.
Because of that, when I see exorbitantly high publicly shared step-counts or encounter someone like the woman I described, I wonder:
Have we shifted from pedometer-positive into pacing, exhausting negative?
Or is it merely my perspective as a non-numbers driven, PLAYout loving, girl-raising, obsession-fearing Mama?
I look to you to decide.
- Have we gone too far in our wearables obsession?
- Or is too much of a good thing never bad?