Exercising sucks. You're in physical pain, feeling like your heart’s about to explode or your lungs are about to collapse, and when you count the calories lost, you haven’t even burned off your daily handful of Cheetos.
But we don’t want to become obese slobs and start losing those Cheetos between our fat rolls, so we all buy into wellness culture — dieting, exercising, and counting every last calorie.
In an attempt to join this latest health craze, Google added a new feature to its popular Maps app, which measures the number of calories you would burn if you walked the distance to your destination, rather than drove. The calories burned were presented in terms of mini cupcakes. A 25 minute walk, for example, would burn one tiny cupcake.
The backlash to the new feature was almost instantaneous. All over social media platforms, people voiced their outrage at what they perceived as “fat-shaming.” The outcry quickly spread over Twitter, where users complained that the cupcake setting was insensitive to the 160 million Americans who are overweight and the 30 million Americans who have eating disorders.
The new feature was experimental, so it was never publicly announced. Last week, it simply started appearing on some iPhone users’ Google Maps app. Of course, some people applauded the new setting, saying it could help promote a healthier lifestyle.
The opposition, however, was much more vocal about their disapproval. The feature made them feel unfairly judged or shamed. What’s worse, they couldn’t turn the feature off.
“Google Maps now includes calorie estimates & I really don't need this kind of judgment right now,” cried one Twitter user.
“I truly can’t wrap my head around how thoughtless and reckless this is as an automatic feature!! Especially with no intuitive way to opt out,” tweeted another.
Not everyone wants to be confronted with calorie counts, they say. It can be disheartening to learn how much exercise is required to burn away minimal amounts of calories.
“Google maps is telling me that an hours walk is only 220 calories and now I want to set things on fire,” one woman complained.
Due to overwhelming public outcry, Google has now removed the calorie-counting setting. The feature was simply intended to promote healthy choices, but in this day and age, we’re too easily triggered.
We fatties just want to eat our daily dose of Cheetos and mini cupcakes without judgment. Is that too much to ask?