The 'Big Brother' Activity Tracker is the Creepiest Twist Yet

Remember from high school English class when you read George Orwell's novel 1984 thought the omniscient ruler Big Brother was really creepy, among other things, for always watching? Well, Big Brother the CBS reality show isn't called that for nothing. While the premise of the show has always been to peek in and eavesdrop on strangers living, fighting, and hooking up in a house on national TV for the summer, the new Activity Tracker twist has brought the show's voyeurism to a whole other level.

At the end of Thursday night's episode, host Julie Chen directed our attention to the bracelets the houseguests were wearing. I initially thought they represented some kind of charitable cause, like those yellow Livestrong bracelets or something. But this is Big Brother, we're talking about. The bracelets are actually tracking the houseguests' movements and can tell us when the houseguests are working up a sweat or just taking a nap. It's always one or the other with these people, isn't it? But when you're in a house with no Wifi and no TV, it's to be expected.

I know the houseguests really have no privacy. High-definition cameras are planted all over the house, capturing them eating, breaking out into dance, and even showering, so if they didn't want their entire lives played out on TV for our entertainment, they certainly picked the wrong show to be on. But this activity tracker just seemed so wrong. The houseguests aren't prisoners, so why treat them as such? It all just screamed post-apocalyptic totalitarian dystopia to me.

Actually, if you go over to the Big Brother Activity Tracker section of CBS.com, it's way less scary. For now, the Activity Tracker just seems like a way to see who's the most active in the house. The page lists how many steps taken, miles traveled, and calories burned by the houseguests since they've been wearing the bracelets. The rankings differ based on the category, but so far the all-time leaders are Zach (Steps Taken), Derrick (Miles Traveled), and Devin (Calories Burned and Active Minutes). However, the houseguests' incoming and to be determined outgoing weight are listed, which is still kind of creepy.

Chen also announced that the Activity Tracker will play some sort of larger role to be revealed later on in the game. My guess is that there will be rewards for those who are the most active during the game and maybe even punishments for the "lazy" houseguests. With the houseguests' weights listed for before and after the game, it also makes me think the person with the biggest difference when they leave the house could get some sort of special prize announced during the finale. I'm all for the houseguests being more active, but considering many of them are already so fit, we'll have to wait and see if this twist was really worth it or not.

Image: CBS