The connective power of Fitbit

By: Andrea Mellendorf

Wearable technology. Fitness trackers. By now, we’ve all at least heard of these latest-and-greatest additions to the technology world, if not purchased one or more for ourselves.

My wearable technology of choice is my Fitbit Alta. I originally purchased my Fitbit so I could track my steps for a couple of months working for a summer camp, but I realized very quickly that there was an entire social side of Fitbit that I wasn’t expecting.

Besides telling you how many steps you’ve walked each day, whether or not you’ve met your exercise goal, your sleep patterns and more, Fitbit also provides its users with opportunities to compete again and communicate with other Fitbit users, no matter where they are.

Join a Workweek Hustle or a Weekend Warrior Challenge and you can see how your activity levels match up with that of you or your friends. You can even challenge yourself, and track how your steps measure up against notable trails and landmarks around the country.

What often seems like just a personal fitness tracker is actually so much more. Thanks to the app portion of the Fitbit, fitness is now a social activity. Just like you can on every social media application, the Fitbit app allows you to keep up with your friends, message them, and cheer them on in their fitness journey. Your friends near or far, can now be connected on another level and another platform, through fitness.

As we see Fitbit coming out with more and more new and updated styles of their fitness trackers, you can also see advances in the smartphone app that goes along with the trackers. You can now purchase Fitstar and Fitstar Yoga, allowing a new level of engagement with the Fitbit brand and its products.

The online component of fitness trackers has made exercise a social activity. Imagine if the fitness trackers did not have a communicative component to them. What if we simply just saw our own steps, sleep and heart rate? It could be argued that they might not be as popular. But, when fitness becomes fitness and virtually hanging out and competing with your friends, there becomes an added level of desirability that comes with the product.

Fitbit has changed the way we think about exercise and sharing our fitness habits with others. With the Fitbit app, we don’t only keep up with our own fitness endeavors, but we can also connect with our friends. In a world where most people crave connection and having access to their whole life on their smartphones, the Fitbit app provides the perfect outlet for what the world craves. I personally have joined the social world of Fitbit. What are your favorite fitness tracking apps and wearable technology?

Andrea Mellendorf is a senior and serves as the Chapter President for EMU PRSSA. She previously has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Special Events and Programs for EMU PRSSA, and as an intern for the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Andrea currently is the Social Media Operator for The Honors College where she manages their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and for the College of Arts and Sciences, where she manages their Facebook and Twitter. Connect with Andrea on Twitter – @AndreaMell!

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