Is my Apple Watch stopping me from being a good person?
Posted on 13 November 2015
I love tech, I’m a bit of a gadget geek.
I also do my best to watch my pennies and not be impetuous with my tech purchases. Anyone that shares my gadget-o-philia affliction will know how much of an oxymoron this is. To that end, I decided not to buy the Apple watch when it first came out, though I thought hard about it. I initially proclaimed that I was going to buy one and even asked for one from my wife for my birthday. But did I really need one?
I like to do my research before buying tech so I spent the 5 months following my birthday reading reviews and blogs about the watch, perhaps finding reasons to push the button and justify why I should buy one. My extensive (though biased) research helped me understand what the hell I’d use the watch for, something everyone asks when a new category of gadget comes out – ‘what is its place in the world’. I saw it as a low-key notifier. Something to save me from taking my giant phone (iPhone 6 plus) out all the time and allow me to stay connected but under the radar. But little did I know that what I saw as key benefits, could also be what could inadvertently change who I fundamentally am.
So what was the turning point that made me give in to my love of gadgets and buy my first Apple Watch?
Well, it is genius. Yet simple. Rod Drury’s Apple Watch blog post on this helped me see the light. Confident I’d solved this first world quandary I went out and bought the cheaper sports version (friends have told me it looks lame, like an 80s Casio watch. I don’t agree, you design-simpletons!). I marvelled at the simplicity of setting it up and was soon enjoying my wearable notifier. In some small way, I felt as if I had conquered technology; overcome the complexities of multichannel, multi-device connectedness.
Now when I was in meetings, alerted to the pleasant nudge from the taptic engine I could casually glance at my watch and… wait, why is this person looking at me funny? That awkwardness of ‘you’ve just looked at the time while we’re talking’ has entered the room. This was unexpected. How did I miss this? Everyone knows that when you look at your watch during a meeting it looks like they’ve lost you. You’re boring and I can’t wait to get out of here. Damn it. I’ve been brought up to be a good person – polite, considerate and with some manners. This apple watch solution is clashing with my values, damn it.
On reflection, I’ve reasoned with a couple of things. There is a level of acceptance around this clash of old school manners when it comes to looking at your phone. Some folk think it’s ok; others still think it’s rude. We’re not there yet with wearable tech, like the watch. Maybe old school manners and etiquette will go down fighting hard or they will be resilient to attacks from behaviour-changing devices, no matter what…
Well, who knows what will happen. If you’re a tech geek like me sporting the Apple Watch or work with someone who does, what have your experiences been?