My watch is stalking me

My Garmin Forerunner 255 on my weirdly skinny wrist

One of the features of my Garmin Forerunner 255 is a daily summary that pops up just after 9 p.m. to tell me what kind of day I’ve had and to pass on a little sage advice on health/sleep/exercise before I bed down for the night. It always starts with a summary, like:

  • Active Day: This seems to be the best. It means I wasn’t a sloth and got some good exercise and generally stayed out of trouble.
  • Easy Day: As expected, this pops up when I don’t meet my step goal and am generally slothful and sitting on my butt. The blurb is never too judgy, but it will suggest I get some “light exercise” or something because it knows I’ve done nothing.
  • Demanding Day: This is likely to pop up when I do a lot of walking (20-30,000+ steps), exercise and have not gotten a good sleep from the night before, which means my body battery will be quite low (I think it bottoms out at 5/100, which has happened a few times). It basically tells me GO TO BED AND SLEEP WELL.
  • Stressful Day: Even if I otherwise have a well-balanced day, with a good mix of activity and exercise, this will still pop up if the watch feels my stress level has been too high. I suspect it is doing a simple correlation between heart rate and activity, so if my heart rate jumps up, but I’m not doing exercise, it’s probably stress. Maybe it’s more nuanced than that. I could probably look this up, but for the moment I’m pretending the rest of the internet doesn’t exist.

Stressful Day is when I most feel the watch is stalking me, because it has been uncannily accurate in this particular assessment. In fact, it’s been so accurate that at the start of a SE1Stressful Event, I will stop and think, “My watch is going to chide me for this later” and start thinking about kittens instead, to reduce the stress/anxiety/existential despair.

So even though my watch is stalking me, it’s helping me be more relaxed, fit and shinier. And that can’t be stressing me out.

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