So, you think owning a Mac, iPhone, iPad and Watch makes you a better, more efficient, highly organized human being? Alyssa Bereznak has a different perspective.
Kevin Lynch — a vice president of technology at Apple and one of the employees tasked with designing the Watch — explained that the gadget was meant to be a more natural way of staying connected. He wanted it to be the answer to the question, “How do we provide [connectedness] in a way that’s a little more human, a little more in the moment when you’re with somebody?”
Soon after I snapped the Watch (steel case, black classic buckle) to my wrist, however, I felt exactly the opposite effect. The notifications poured in, and with them, a new feeling of organization and efficiency. But with that productivity came a new sense of conflict between digital life and real life. I was becoming a more adept person, but also a more horrible one.
The inevitible, ‘Why?”
Apple Watch apologists would argue that I could adjust the settings for the number of notifications I receive. But the problem is that my interest in certain alerts fluctuates throughout the day. My 8 a.m. self is much more tolerant of news alerts than my 5 p.m. self, who just wants to be left alone to play Two Dots on the train. My 9 p.m. after-two-glasses-of-wine self is the most accepting and will gladly welcome all notifications of Instagram likes and incoming Snapchats.
But in practice, the Watch is just another iteration of the productivity tools that came before it, a descendant of the computers that helped white-collar workers with their daily workloads (without shortening their work days). No gadget can help us focus harder on the person in front of us. The only way to do that is to turn off your computer, put away your phone, take off your smartwatch, and make some eye contact.