Are personal tracking gadgets helpful or ultimately distracting?
Do you use a Fitbit or similar device to quantify an aspect of your life? Do you find gamification or quantifying strategies to be useful in establishing new habits? Do you ever find that thinking about quantifying yourself distracts you or is a negative experience?
I definitely feel disappointed if I realize, for instance, that I left my FitBit at home on a given day, or if I check Weightbot (an iOS app that links to Withings) and realize I forgot to weigh myself that morning, but it's not such a big deal that it bothers me. What I love about the FitBit in particular is how 'inoffensive' it is--it's tiny and requires basically no interaction other charging it about once a week. At this point putting it in my pocket every morning is basically force of habit so I almost never forget it, and even if I don't really 'use' it that much it's nice knowing that it's there collecting data without bothering me or interfering with anything.
I got the fitbit one and love the smaller size and that they got rid of split device design it had before. I am also not a morning person and who know this may help but not sure how much since its strapped to your wrist. I am not sure i would even notice it vibrating.
Now with something like Strava, that is what I'm more concerned with (as would other cyclist or runners). Having that info logged is important to me because it provides a detailed log of distances, heart rates, cadence, etc. I can look at that info and see where I had the most power output or if I'm noticing a more steady speed while keeping a higher heart rate. I also think Strava's Segment feature is a lot more enjoyable because it's a leaderboard with everyone, not just friends. Plus they can be anywhere so it can be fun motivation to push yourself at certain points.
tl;dr - If I forget my FitBit it's not the end of the world, but if I don't get a workout logged in Strava I get mad.