Stasi watch

My sweetheart turned 65 last June. One of his friends gave him a fitness tracker for this special birthday. It’s a Garmin watch, counting steps and calories used and what not, sending all this gathered data to your computer, giving you every kind of overview and statistic you might want to have. It was a kind attempt of said friend to motivate sweetheart into taking up sports again. He was a VERY keen tennis player, later golfer. But slipped into cozy couch potatoing over the years. Much with my help, I have to confess.

However, after sweetheart installed the gadget and all necessary software and  tried it out once, he stopped wearing it. His aversion against what he calls “Stasi-watch” now, actually started right at the beginning, while setting up the software. I heard him swear under his breath all the time, while he was at it. I thought, there were technical problems, so I enquired, what the problem was (purely out of sympathy, not that I’d be able to be of assistance with any technical difficulites).

The problem seemed to be,  that the software wanted to know about stuff, sweetheart considered strictly personal and none of Garmins or anybody elses business. Data like age, height, weight n’ stuff.  He wasn’t gonna trust the vast internet with all this top secret information, allowing the gadget to send off data about his tos and fros, freefloating for evermore in the universe of www.

I was surprised, how upset this made him. I am aware, he is what is called a 68er in Germany – a child of the rebellious, freedom loving flower-power generation. Detesting all state or other wordly power control.  But with this, he exceeded his usual state of dislike to clearly becoming fierce about it. He actually calls his Garmin a Stasi watch (Stasi is short for STAATSSICHERHEITSDIENST [state security service], which was the KGB of former East Germany, responsible for spying out and controlling most of their own citizens), which is a term of abuse around here in (former West) Berlin.

So, to no surprise, the watch lay unused in a corner somewhere for half a year. I don’t even know, how it resurfaced. But all of a sudden: there it was, again. And sweetheart suggested, that I try it out. Which I did. I like it. And I am more generous, when it comes to my personal data and the web. I don’t think it will do much harm, letting whom-it-may-concern know about my overweight and how many steps I take (or don’t take) against this sorry fact.

Which might turn out to be one of my bigger mistakes on hindsight. But we’ll only be able to tell in the future, won’t we? At any rate, whatever information I send over the internet via this special gadget, is under my sweetheart’s name anyways – so, fooled you!

6 thoughts on “Stasi watch

  1. What is happening to us, girl?! I also got a Fit Bit for xmas (blog post about it in the making) and am also getting a big kick out of it, As far as I know, there is no internet connection, no surveillance other than the self-inflicted kind. I made over 5000 steps today. And it is okay with me if the Stasi knows that info.


    1. oh, that’s cool! So we even could compete a little – I’m saying that only because I somehow managed to do 6.000 steps yesterday 😉
      And I think the answer to your question is simply TORSCHLUSSPANIK Not so much in respect of what others think about us but what we feel about ourselves…


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