I’d ignored it for as long as I could.
I’m suspicious of opening apps that someone else has shoved onto my phone. Especially if they tell me how I’m living my life and suggest ways I could be living it better.
They were, after all, created by people who may merely be sanctimonious tech types with a tawdry life of their own. And I’m not specifically referring to anyone who works for Apple.
I’m lying, slightly. I have too many friends who boast about how many steps they take every day.
I’d never considered such data. I try and walk. I try and bike. I try and move. I hope to survive a little longer.
But here was one friend telling me that, on a recent trip to New York, he’d taken 40,000 steps a day. Well, he’s a troubled soul.
Here’s To Your Health, But Not Your Sanity.
Still, I began to look at my Health app data, simultaneously fearing that this was a beginning that could only lead to a horrible end.
My iPhone Health app offered a few simple delights of information. The number of steps, the walking and riding distance, and the number of flights climbed.
It began to praise me. It said I was taking more steps and walking further than I did last year.
This seemed strange and I soon realized why. Last year, I used to go to a gym. I’d prop my phone up on the bike console, so it would never be in my pocket. This meant my phone didn’t count all those supposed steps.
Now, as I ride a stationary bike at home, the Health app sits in the pocket of my shorts and insists that I perform 7,000 steps while I’m biking. These steps constitute 2.7 miles.
Which they don’t. My bike tells me I’ve ridden 14 miles, up and downhills. The Health app is merely feeling that I appear to be taking strides. It can’t tell I’m on a bike.
Yet the insidious nature of apps is such that you can’t help but go back to them. Again and again.
Apple will tell me the Health app is only there to help me become a better, healthier person.
I’m beginning to worry it’s made me an even…