This Christmas wearable technology is a hit. Soon, millions of people will be monitoring how many steps they take each day, their heart rate, and numerous other metrics. It is an exciting time for health enthusiasts everywhere. But what if this enthusiasm is misplaced?
With the role of government expanding into healthcare more and more each day, it seems only a matter of time before those metrics are no longer just for the user, but used by insurance companies to determine rates, healthcare providers to monitor health, and the IRS who is charged with oversight of Obamacare.
For full disclosure, I wear a Fitbit Flex myself and I love its functionality. I find it makes me walk more and I’m probably healthier as a result. With growing rates of obesity in America one could argue this wearable tech is a godsend for the sedentary. Let’s go one step further. Wearable tech could also extend to body cameras on police officers. Already in the United States there are millions of security cameras and their rate of growth is exploding. We are obsessed with this sense of security, even though being surrounded by cameras doesn’t make us safer. We could still get mugged or killed in the street, and all that those millions of cameras will do is help the police catch the killer. It seems we forget that we’ll be dead. This issue of police officers wearing cameras is a hot-button topic right now, and my opinion aside, I wonder what you, the reader, thinks about how it would affect our safety.
In relation to fitness trackers, is it good that Americans are beginning to take a deeper interest in their health? Absolutely. Is it possible that there will be unintended consequences to this trend? I think so. In ten or twenty years I believe insurance rates will be based on permanent health trackers and will fluctuate monthly based on your workout and diet trends. Corporations and Government entities will have far more access to our lives than we ever thought possible and the worst part is, we’ll welcome it with open arms because of the facade of safety.
Personally, I’ll still wear my fitness tracker as long as its statistics remain my own. I’m in great health already and work out because I love to. This era of big data and constantly monitoring metrics isn’t going anywhere, and I bring up this topic because I think everyone should think about the implications of how we’re changing society. Will the world we live in ten or twenty years from now be more or less free than today? How many freedoms are we willing to give up to live longer and be safer, even if those goals end up being fiat in nature?