Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Problem with the iPhone

The Wife can to me all proud and giggly about this new iPhone app that she found. It was a workout app and, much to her credit, she's caught on that I enjoy working out. It's nice to know that she's paying attention after all these years. Anyway, the premise of the app based on her description and demonstration was that you activate the app, hold it out in front of you, and do your squat. The device magically records how many squats you have accomplished. If you ask it, it will also tell you how many more you have left in your set and keep the results in a log for you.

I checked it out and apparently there are a multitude of free apps that will do this, free of charge. These same developers made one for push-up, pull-up and sit-ups. I think they've cornered the market on the 'ups' exercises.

On one hand, I am excited about any strategy that gets people up and moving. Motivation, for some, is in short supply. If a new app is going to coax you off the couch and into workout mode, have at it. The more you do, the better you are, and the happier that we'll all be (at least in theory).

On the other hand, I'm appalled. I can't imagine needing any sort of device that's greatest power is counting. How hard is it? One is followed by two. It's the same numbering system that you were taught when you were 3 years old and repeated when you were 4. Hey, remember that new technology called a piece of paper and a pencil? These are great devices that will aid in the recording of workouts. Plus, you don't need a separate sheet of paper to log sit-ups and pull-ups. They can be recorded on the same device.

Today's uber-reliance on electronics is getting out of hand. People now-a-days are living the slogan "there's an app for that". Whatever happened to just working out? It really is that simple. Want to do some push-ups? Lie on the floor, face down with your hands under your shoulders. Push. Up. Return to the starting position. Repeat as often as you like. Too hard? That's ok. There are variations (see left). Notice that in none of the cartoon drawings is there an iPhone. Those imaginary depictions of people get it.

Aside: Don't try doing an image search for 'push-ups' while you're at work. Sure, you'll get lots of hits. Mostly of hot chicks in bras. Oh, apparently there's also some new hiney-enhancing panties and, according to one source, a push-up thong. Advice- absolutely do that search, but save it for when you get home. End Aside.

It really would be nice if people ditched their iPhones for life once in a while. Just because there's an app for something doesn't mean that you need to use it. On the surface, people think that these tiny bits of technology are making their lives better. I disagree. I feel that they are perpetuating the laziness that keeps us on the couch in the first place. Ditch the iPhone. Down with the apps. They are like crack feeding an addiction which will never be quenched.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go for a run. I just need to check my Garmin and make sure the battery's charged and strap on my heart rate monitor. I'll upload the data to my database and analyze the workout from several different angles. When finished, I have plans to research about power meters that I hope to buy for my bike in the near future. 

But, I absolutely refuse to bring my iPhone during my run. That would just be silly.

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