An acquaintance recently said to me, “I’m surprised about you being on the Autism Spectrum. I wouldn’t have known anything was different about you.” I get that a lot and so do a lot of my fellow travelers on the Spectrum. I’m better at passing than I was in my childhood when I was forever getting caught acting differently. I did, though, want him to know that although my Autism is invisible to him, it isn’t invisible to me! I told him if he could see me on the video camera when I’m alone, the Autism would be more apparent to him.
I then pointed out to him my wrists. One arm had a Samsung Gear S3 watch. The other arm had a plain jane watch and a Fitbit. He said, “Oh, my goodness. Isn’t that a bit much?”
I proceeded to give him an Autistic monolog’s worth of an explanation. Since I bought my smart watch that counts my steps, I have become obsessed with stepping up to the plate and meeting the goal every single day. The watch’s default was 6000 steps a day. I have since upped it to 20,000. When I like something, I go overboard! It’s part of living on the spectrum.
Another common Autistic trait is an attachment to things over people. I couldn’t bear to let “jane” go since she still kept time. I had a sound reason to keep jane though. I have to push a button or wave my wrist repeatedly to see the time on the smart watch. With “jane”, I just have to glance at her when I only want to see the time. No wrist waving or button pushing required. Besides my smartwatch has a ton of other applications besides telling time.
I traded in one of my long-held laptops for a gift card. That was a tough thing to do since even going to a customer service desk is a hard proposition for me. But when I saw on the store’s website what I would get for the laptop, I instantly pictured in my mind of what else I could add to my obsessive electronic gadget collection. So I gave up something I was attached to but added something new to get attached to it. So that’s the story behind how the Fitbit ended up on one of my wrists.
Fitbit’s battery life lasts longer than my smart watch even though it is much cheaper. I guess because Fitbit isn’t as busy as the smart one. I have to turn my smart watch to power-saving mode at night and when I do that, it doesn’t keep an account of the steps I take. And I do take some night steps. I think the Fitbit may give me a more accurate count and that’s important since I want every step I take to count.
Believe it or not, the above is a much shorter version than the explanation I gave the acquaintance. I don’t think he’ll ever ask me an Autism-related question again. Or, ask me if I had made any recent trips to the Best Buy electronics store.