Are we too connected?

Today I did an experiment. I had gotten up early to go on a 42 mile bike ride with a local group, but it was raining. Skinny tires, rain = me sliding too much. I decided to update my various social networks around wellness and my mobile apps while waiting for the roads to dry a bit.

Two hours later I am frustrated and perplexed. How can all of the creativity, innovation, understanding of behavior and psychology around habits, change and wellness have produced a quagmire or inputting, updating and connection efforts – but very little motivation.

I can hardly wait for the roads to dry so I can join my friends on a long, scenic bike ride and none of them are “friends” on any of my so-called social connection wellness tools.  here’s the run-down of what I did this morning:

Logged in to Nike+ and found my last logged run was June 8. I have two friends, no challenges and 5 trophies. Do I care, since I am not training for a run? Somehow I had neglected to upload from my iPod sensor for awhile. Did it (12 minutes). Downloaded the app for my iPhone so I don’t have to do that any more.

Logged in to MapMyRide and saw everything was up to date. 209 miles over 13 rides and very cool elevation detail. I don’t have any friends on this app either but I like it. I thought it updated to MapMyRun and NIke+, need to learn how to connect it all.

On to Daily BurnDaily Mile, MeYouHealth and Daily Challenge. It was fun to see how some friends are succeeding in training for events. Did a status update on each (14 minutes)

I quickly walked up and down my stairs in order to get my next landmark (Tower of Pisa) for 300 steps, but I usually walk 2-5 miles 3-4 times a week but simply forget to turn on the Monumental app. Maybe if I walked the stairs at work this app would be much more cool and social for me. (9 minutes)

I went outside to try the NIke+GPS app I already had on my phone but I had never activated it.  The app has a cool game of tag. I only have 2 Nike+ friends so I invited them both to play TAG. I did a quick run just to be in the game. (15 minutes)

As long as I had my phone out I did a quick walk with the Arookoo app. It has a Facebook game connected to it (boring tasks and slow loading) that I don’t quite see the connection to real walking with. I earned some energy but it’s not so important in the online game. (8 minutes)

I also have Hidden Park so I checked to see if anyone in town had done my Hidden Park activity I created a few months ago (45 minutes) but no one had. Too bad.

I have GPS Mission on my phone, so I decided to activate it and give it a try – registration log in stalled out so I deleted that app. Also got rid of a non-social pedometer, really what did I need that for? (7 minutes)

I swung through Skimble and did a few ab exercises, then remembered that I could do that with my EA Sports Active and WiiFIT. Whew, 47 minutes later I am back at the computer. Good workout! (and it looks like the rain is done and roads are drying up). Before heading out on my bike ride I quickly checked in at StickK to update my status (3 minutes) – my referee on that site hasn’t cheered me on for a while, I have been letting her down as well. Too busy?

Since there are more than 17,000 mobile health apps for smartphones, I think the best innovation is going to be where we have ONE log in that connects our friends, our activity, our community and “game points/levels/badges/trophies” all in one. I find that my smart phone and its handy arm band holder and instant uploading to the websites is my preferred physical activity tracking method.  I resist sharing on Facebook, every “friend” on Facebook doesn’t need to (or care to) witness dozens of updates from dozens of apps all over their Facebook. Yet without that sharing, what connection/social graph support am I missing?

I would love to hear your comments on this.

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