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Jim Bright: Betrayed by best mate

To my horror, I discovered last week that I had been betrayed by my best friend, who had put me under surveillance for more than a month.

The shattering truth was not ameliorated when I realised that I had walked into this trap. Not unlike David Beckham’s underpants, it was a large package in my trousers that opened my eyes to this ambush and caused me such shame.

For lurking in those trousers, my erstwhile best friend, my iPhone, had been surreptitiously recording every step of my excuse of a life. Having bought my phone like my food, in supersized portions, I did not expect my beast of excess, the iPhone 6 Plus, to start haranguing me about my health.

I had noticed soon after the phone arrived that it contained an app called Health. Being a male, or perhaps more accurately and honestly being me, I obviously proceeded to ignore this app, assuming it was for those poor unfortunates who cannot take their health for granted, or at least are unable to act as though they do.

Ultimately my curiosity, or my boredom arising out of my barren social life, got the better of me and I opened this app. I staggered backwards in shock to discover that every step that I had taken, forwards or backwards, every staircase I was unable to avoid climbing, since buying  the bloated beast, was recorded dutifully.

And like Cilla Black, those records were truly shocking. Surely it is not possible to take fewer steps than the Australian government confronted with an Ebola crisis, but somehow I had managed it.

Despite moving recently into a place with stairs, my records suggested I lived on a salt flat that had been treated with the heavy roller. How could my companion that I had seen grow from a 2 to a 5s do this to me? I sprung into action and marched around the nearest lake.

I took to going upstairs for the sheer hell of it — and it felt like hell after the umpteenth time. I had to get those figures looking healthier than a Joe Hockey budget, or even a post-operative Joe Hockey.

After several days of unseemly activity, I realised I had been well and truly had. This wasn’t about health at all. I realised that to ensure that I got credit for every step, every climb and every eye blink, the phone was taken with me, literally every step of the way.

What a brilliant way to ensure that your Apple device never leaves your side. Then I started to wonder how far people take this? According to womansday南京夜网, 144 calories are expended in horizontal activities (interestingly menshealth南京夜网 reckon it is only 100, and 69 for women).

I bet there are some zealots out there strapping on their phones to maximise credit for their bedroom aerobics.

In the same way that performance measures at work often undermine and distort the very thing they are trying to measure. I suspect that I shall be so obsessed with looking at the graphs on the health app, I am likely to step in front of a bus while out walking. Healthy, that aint.

Jim Bright is Professor of Career Education and Development at ACU and a Partner at Bright and Associates. Email [email protected]南京夜网. Follow @DrJimBright. 

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