A while ago I wrote a post called “The KISS Principle. Why Dumb Devices are the Smart Choice“. In this article I talked a lot about the iPhone and how sometimes a device with so many features and internet connectivity can be very distracting. I contrasted the iPhone with ‘single function’ devices and how overall I seem to enjoy these more.
Last week Apple introduced the world to it’s new Apple Watch and, like the iPhone, I have a few reservations. On the one hand (no pun intended), it’s not surprising that wearable tech is becoming the next big thing. An internet enabled device that you can strap to your wrist seems like the next logical step in a connectivity-obsessed culture. The iPhone has allowed us to do this for years. Now the Watch is taking it one step further. Now you don’t even have to take it out of your pocket. This is similar to what Google is trying to do with Google Glass (internet glasses). But here, instead of a Google head’s up display, you’re getting an Apple head’s down display. You wear them on different parts of your body but it’s the same concept really- making the internet available on a moment’s glance.
But I have issues with this sort of technology. Call me old-fashioned, or a traditionalist, or just simply slow to adopt new things. But I’m of a very different philosophy. The simple fact of the matter is that the one thing that these devices promise to do, namely bring the internet to you fast and NOW, is the one thing I actively try to avoid in my life. Constant internet, accessibility, is not something I want in my life. I like my space. I like room to breathe. And being strapped to the internet, which is what the Apple Watch allows you to do, is not something I want to add to my lifestyle. Whether you realize it or not, in subtle ways it creates a dependence. The connection becomes more than just an enhancement. It becomes a lifeline. I think it’s worthwhile to fight this dependency. One way to do this is to keep the internet in it’s place. To me the internet is and always will be compartmentalized. It fits into a little box in my life. I go to it when I need it, and turn it off and put it away when I’m done. It’s not something I want to keep ON at all times, and heaven forbid strap to my body. Like I said, I like my personal space and freedom.
So my initial reaction to the Apple Watch, like the iPhone itself, is one of caution. I won’t be surprised if in a couple years wearable tech really catches on. But for me I will always choose personal space and freedom over a constant barrage of information and connectivity. That to me is the smart choice.