Monday, October 20, 2014

Finding Fitbit Friends, and Keeping Them

Chances are that if you have a Fitbit exercise tracking device, you're a competitive person.  Even if you don't have a lot of friends, seeing your own stats day to day will have you competing with yourself to better them.  A little friendly competition with Fitbit friends, however, might challenge you even more.

Finding friends on Fitbit
If you've connected your social media accounts with Fitbit, your dashboard will show you suggested friends based on existing connections on those networks. To find more friends, click on 'community' on the Fitbit site and look through the various forums and find groups of people with like interests.  You'll find no end to the number of people who are doing just what you're doing - looking for more friends.

What I look for in a Fitbit friend
To me, being a friend on Fitbit is more than just clicking that 'add friend' button.  The point of having friends is to provide motivation to keep going day after day, no matter how discouraged you might be.  Friends can be a support network, but if you know nothing about each other and there is no interaction between you whatsoever, there's really no point in having a large list of friends, in my opinion.

I'll admit that I added friends willy-nilly when I first joined Fitbit a month or so ago, but I've since changed tactics.  I've decided to pare down my list and include only those who have put something in the 'about me' section of their profile, or who I've interacted with on a fairly regular basis.  To me, have a completely naked profile tells me that the person is there to do their own thing and not be social at all.  If that's what works for them, there's nothing wrong with that, but I want a little more from my friends.  That might be a close-minded way of looking at it, but it's my way of thinking, and I'm entitled to that.  I'm not saying that everyone should bare their life stories to strangers, but we can all put something there, either a goal we're working towards, or one we've already attained.

Friendly activities
It only takes a second to click on the 'cheer' button on Fitbit, so don't be stingy with that either.  If you see a friend who hasn't been active in a while, send a note and ask if everything's ok.  If your dashboard stats show that you've been running neck-and-neck with a friend and just pulled ahead of them, stick your virtual tongue out at them with the 'taunt' button, following up with a friendly note saying why you've done so, and spur them on.

If you have the app on your smartphone (and it works with your device - there have been problems for some), start a challenge with friends and bring the competition to a little different level.

Once you've connected with some friends on Fitbit, you never know where it might lead.  There are groups on Facebook for different age groups, locales, people facing physical or medical challenges, etc., and that might be a little more personal and easier to navigate than the groups on the Fitbit site.  You might even find a special friend or two that you have other things in common with, which can lead to friendship outside of just the fitness connection.

Keeping friends means being a good one
If you rely on your Fitbit friends to keep you motivated, make sure that you're doing the same for them in return.  I'm guilty of not interacting much on some days, and I need to do better myself.  Having said that, I'm off to do some cheering before I head out for a walk.

~ Marie Anne

Don't have a Fitbit yet?  What're you waiting for?  You can find the various Fitbit devices and accessories on amazon.com



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