I am an unashamed technophile and fan of virtually all things Apple. I'm always pretty keen to get my hands on the newest Apple release in fairly quick time, so I am instinctively drawn towards the freshest fruit on the tree: the Apple Watch.
Three things held me back from yielding to this temptation early on. First, the Apple Watch doesn't come cheap. I need to know $500+ would be money well spent. Second, and with that in mind, I don't wear a watch – I haven't for years – so I need to be convinced that I would be comfortable wearing this 'timepiece'. And third, history tells us that the second generation of Apple's devices is usually a big step forward from the first so perhaps better to wait a year regardless.
However, after reading and listening to a number of reviews of the watch (such as this one), I'm even less convinced that I will ever need an Apple Watch. While it aims to make us more productive, my current thinking is that it could quite possibly do the opposite.
The number one reason why we don't need an Apple Watch, or any other 'smart watch', is this:
We need less, not more, distractions
Apart from telling the time, the primary role of the Apple Watch seems to be to provide information updates: 'notifications'. (The size of a watch fundamentally precludes it from receiving much in the way of inputs, no matter how good the interface or how clever Siri becomes.) A main aim of the watch's design is to reduce the number of times you need to pull your iPhone out of your pocket to check a calendar reminder, text message, Facebook update, etc.
But there is more and more evidence that we really need to be weaning ourselves off all these updates – not receiving them more conveniently.
I'm reading a book at the moment called BrainChains by Dr Theo Compernolle. One of the central messages of the book is that despite what we may think, the human brain is essentially incapable of multitasking. We simply cannot give our full attention to something we are working on – which is quite important to writers – if we are constantly being distracted by something else.
A recent article in The Age reaffirms this, citing studies that indicate a decrease in IQ of as many as 10 points – more than losing a night's sleep – from being 'always on'.
That being the case, why would any of us want a device that is going to interrupt us multiple times a day to tell us we have new mail, that our mother called or that our team just scored a goal?
Staying in charge of your own time
I love my iPhone and iPad, but I'm increasingly being more and more strict about notifications. Rather than be told the moment someone has followed me in Flickr, I'm happy to find out when I next visit the site. Ditto Facebook, Instagram, Twitter ... you get the idea.
And I can do all these things while still keeping my wrists unencumbered.
Of course, I remember once swearing that I would never need a mobile phone, and that didn't last long. So don't be surprised if you see me sporting an Apple Watch one day. But for now, I'm struggling to see the benefit.
As usual, if you have any questions or comments, please add a comment below or contact me.