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One A Day Gift Guide: A Better Self

For obsessive types, there is no better gadget than a Fitbit One.

There are certain types of people in this world, people who do things like alphabetize their kitchen cabinets and sort their album covers by color, people who write down every weird dream they have involving Fiona Apple and photograph the pit of every avocado they eat. People who are compulsive catalogers of their life, in other words. The Fitbit One is for them.

The Fitbit One is technically a “fitness monitor” — a rather popular category of gadget lately, with the other notable example being Nike’s FuelBand, which probably says something about Americans and health and quickfixes but whatever — so you might think it’s a fitness device. And it is, in a sense. But the Fitbit One is, more than that, an unmerciful recorder of your entire life — or at least every part of it that pertains to movement and sleeping. The size of a strange finger, as you wear it (or holster it somewhere on your body), the Fitbit One automatically tracks steps, distance, stairs climbed, calories burned and (admittedly not as precisely) how well you sleep. Then it wirelessly syncs everything back to your computer, where it’s uploaded to the internet, and your body’s kinectic history is converted into a series of numbers and charts perfectly formatted for the obsessive self-statistician.

One could use this data to become healthier. To move more, sleep better and get fitter. Or one could simply bank it, like every other bit of information we generate about ourselves on a daily basis — the hundreds of Facebook photos, the thousands of tweets — creating a constantly compounded archive of the self. Just one more dimension of data. Either way, there is no more appropriate gift for the self-obsessed. It’s $100.

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