The Revenge of the Yoo

 Posted by M. K. Waller

After years as a modified Luddite, I’ve finally acquired a smart phone to replace my dumb one. David gave it to me. He bought it a couple of years ago and used it for a while, then decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

I still carry my dumb phone. Before using the new one to make and receive calls, I’m learning to use the essential functions nobody knew were essential till phones got smart. So far, I’ve learned that people go around staring at the little screens all the time because they’re trying to figure out how to make them work.

The backstory is that I bought one of those bracelets–sort of a faux Fitbit; there was a discount, and it didn’t cost much to begin with–so I can see how many steps I take every day, how many calories I burn, how much deep sleep I get, and so forth. Because it’s a smart bracelet. it works only with a smart phone, hence the upgrade.

About the name: Yoo. In the set-up, there’s a reference to a “New Yoo.” It took me only two hours to figure that one out. I get points for various activities–steps, sleep, whatever–but if I’m not active enough in a day, I get 200 Revenge points, which means they’re taken away.

The first day, after I finally figured out how to download the software, I burned 20 calories. That can’t be accurate, because, if I remember correctly, if I were in a coma, I would burn 7 calories/pound, and I think a woman who’s conscious burns 11 calories/pound. Or maybe it’s 9. I do remember that men burn two calories more per pound than women, which isn’t fair.

Anyway, I have a lot of pounds so I should have burned more than 20 calories. I guess they mean I burned 20 calories over and above what it takes to just lie around.

Unfortunately, there are challenges. I chose the 50K Challenge, also known as the Up Off the Couch Challenge. I’m supposed to win in it less than a week. It’s not going well. In the past seven days, I’ve fallen far short of the 10,000 steps per day the Yoo Challenge advises. I reset my daily goal down to 5,000 steps per day, but that didn’t help. Today I got in 1550 steps, my personal best.

At present, Yoo says I have to amass 38,207 points to win the 50K Challenge. Last night, it said I had only 37,000+ points to go. I guess between readings it  deducted 200 Revenge points for yesterday’s idleness.

I sadly fear the Old Yoo is winning.


I have published stories in Austin Mystery Writers’ two crime fiction anthologies, Murder on Wheels and Lone Star Lawless, and in Day of the Dark.. Read my short-short story “And Justice for All” at Mysterical-E.

11 thoughts on “The Revenge of the Yoo

  1. He-he. I’m glad my Fitbit doesn’t deduct points! It does urge me to move every hour… which does help to get me to a baseline of 3k steps a day (my goal is 12.5 k steps every day… and sometimes I get there!). As for smart phones: I try to keep mine as long as possible (the last one lasted almost 5 years) before updating, mostly because everything changes even if you stay in the same line. Technology is getting smarter… one day the machines will rule 😉


  2. 3K steps–excellent goal. I think I’ll adopt it. Revenge points kick in every hour you don’t move. Tapping fingers on a keyboard obviously doesn’t count. Replacing electronics for new models would leave me broke. I kept a phone so long that when I bought a new one (after dropping the old one), the sales clerk laughed and laughed and then showed one his grandmother liked a lot. I was NOT old enough to be his grandmother, but I just held my tongue and bought the phone.


  3. No fitbit, not even a smart phone. Technology may force me to buy a smartphone, though. At book signings, the credit card attachment for phones is used by some authors. People just don’t carry checkbooks anymore. As a senior citizen, I took advantage of gym membership, and the treadmills and stationary bikes let me know the calories I burn. I can’t vouch for their accuracy, though.


    1. I applaud your resistance. I held out a long time, was late getting a computer, late getting a dumb phone, and was uninformed and happy. But the smart phone was inevitable; I was already feeling the need. I called the gym today about that senior citizen membership but couldn’t drag myself down there. One thing at a time. I’m not so sure about the Yoo’s accuracy, either, but it knows the difference between days I walk a lot and days I walk as little as possible.


  4. This was hilarious, and totally relatable, although I have a smartphone, it’s quite small and getting slow like me. I don’t think I want a Fitbit. Why show myself in visible ways how I’m failing? Thoroughly enjoyed your blog. (And your experiences.)


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