consumer whore cami ponders the apple watch…

A couple of years ago when the Pebble became all the rage and started popping up on wrists I grimaced. When my guy got one I was still cautious but curious. I thought perhaps it would be a good thing. He’s a super busy guy. Maybe it would allow him to better stay in the know as he ran from place to place. Meeting to meeting. But the first weekend he wore it I knew I hated it. Every time a notification came in he would glance at his wrist. Then squint at it. Then either pull out his phone or return to our conversation. Or our brunch. Or our super hero movie.

I was annoyed. And while that annoyance was directed at him I was annoyed with society. That we’d reached a point in our desire for connectivity that we needed something on our skin all day which would give us a jolt to tell us SOMETHING IS HAPPENING!

I couldn’t get used to it. I couldn’t get over the fact that seeing what items communicated to his watch, unimportant as they may be, were more important than spending time with me in that moment. I thought it was probably great for weekdays, work trips, and conferences but not life.  Then in a stunningly bitchy moment I asked him not to wear it on the weekends.

No. I’m not high maintenance. But our time together is limited. And I’m sensitive. And I feel like I should have his attention when I have it. Okay… I’m a little high maintenance.

But I didn’t like the thought of that attention and energy sucking watch pinging him while he was spending time with his loved ones. And by “he” I mean “people.” I saw it as another rabbit hole we, as a society, could fall down to pull us further into our online connectivity while disconnecting from the people who matter.

And then it happened. I was watching a recording of a talk he gave on the power of humility when a few moments in he adjusted his Pebble. Pushed a button. Tried to turn it off. Something. He wasn’t trying to read a notification, but the watch pulled him out of that moment. A moment he was sharing with an event full of people eagerly listening to what he had to say. I’m not sure if he was fidgeting, if it vibrated, or if he was making sure he turned notifications off but it was then that it struck me he was essentially giving a presentation with phone in hand.

It wasn’t long after that he stopped wearing it altogether.

So you would think with that long wind up I would say that I have absolutely no interest in that fancy new Apple Watch. That I think it’s a “rabbit hole we, as a society, could fall down to pull us further into our online connectivity while disconnecting from the people who matter.” Yeah. I would think I was about to say that too. But somehow I’ve fallen prey to the marketing. To the push. To the pretty.

I already wear a jawbone to help me track my fitness and sleep goals. What if I could swap that out for a device that tracked my steps, kept an eye on my heart, and monitored my sleep while it sent me only the most important notifications. Messages and calls from my VIPs, those I specify that I need to hear from. Could I make it through a night on the town without checking my phone? Could I read a book without glancing at a screen. Have a drink with my friend without worrying I’m missing a call from my kid? From where I sit this latest Apple gadget is looking pretty shiny. Perhaps I’m more of an Apple fan than I’d like to admit.

I’ve somehow convinced myself that by carefully curating which notifications I receive this newest gadget might just save me time and allow me to focus on those most important to me wherever they happen to be.

Luckily the price tag isn’t quite so attractive so I can take my time deciding if it’s something I really do want. Or if I’d like to spend time staring at my phone and feeling smug while pretending I’m not just as wired in as my guy was while wearing his Pebble.

4 thoughts on “consumer whore cami ponders the apple watch…

  1. Jackie Dana says:

    Thanks for this insight. I hadn’t really thought of it like this.

    Still, I want an Apple watch so badly. Maybe it’s partly because my iPhone has become my de facto timepiece and I hate needing to have it with me all the time just so I know what time it is. I think I *might* become less attached to the phone (and therefore, email and facebook and games and all the rest) if I just had a gizmo that told time and sent texts (plus the fitness stuff).

    Plus I’d be happier about wearing pants and skirts without pockets again.

    Or maybe it’s wishful thinking. We’ll see, I guess.

  2. camikaos says:

    Like everything it has two sides. A case could be made for it to actually reduce our level of distraction. A case could also be made that it will be the downfall of humanity :)

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