Bay bitch: watching

As you are all aware most aspects of our lives are being monitored by various bodies (sometimes actual bodies) in a hope that we will perform better. KPIs are rampant, competencies have to be achieved, courses have to be accredited, restaurants have to be reviewed, hotels have to be rated, people’s life choices liked or ignored on Facebook. But has life improved because of this surveillance?

Considering the conflict in workplaces that still exists despite all the KPIs being ticked off, the nursing homes where residents are still abused, the courses that are still crap, restaurants that continue to serve slop, hotels that still run out of hot water, and all the lonely people with trillions of friends on Facebook, there seems to be some major flaws in this system of scrutiny.

Oblivious to this, the sportsters on the Bay have embraced monitoring with gusto. They have taken on blindly what they know from other areas of their lives – mainly work and social media – and adapted it to one of the most solitary behaviours one can pursue – running and walking. You’ve probably noticed the coloured plastic around every second sportster’s wrist. No, they haven’t been to a nightclub, they are tracking their heart rate with a Fitbit. (A similar device is used for tracking paroled prisoners)

Apart from tracking the sporsters, it calls or texts them to inform them of their progress and shares their results with their Fitbit friends on social media – with a selfie of course. Sounds creepily like they are replicating work practices – detailed summaries, graphs and charts, improvement over time, motivation talks, published employee comparisons, without getting paid to do it. Scary stuff!

Can’t one simply just go for a walk anymore?

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