My Apple Watch broke the other day. The battery swelled up and the entire screen cracked around the face and popped up. I was just sitting having lunch and it broke. I immediately started a chat with Apple Support and after spending $80+ they had a box coming to me to send it in for repair.
The range of emotions this caused me to go through was an interesting study in non-attachment and disconnecting. The Apple Watch is the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I take off at night. I am obsessed with closing the 3 activity rings everyday. In fact I was on a 180+ day Move streak when it broke.
After the watch broke I immediately started thinking about how I was going to lose my Move streak. As that settled in I began to realize how obsessed I was with closing the rings. As I contemplated this I had the realization that everything was going to be ok.
I understand that it is absurd to think that not closing my activity rings would be a big issue, but before the watch was broken that is exactly how I thought. There were days when I would go for walks at 11:30pm to get my Move and Exercise rings closed. Sometimes the stand goal would not register for a particular hour, even though I had stood up and walked around, and I would curse the watch.
The Apple Watch is an amazing piece of technology for measuring activity. It tracks you heart-rate accurately on your wrist, which is far more comfortable than a chest strap. While Siri needs a lot of improvement, it is very useful for setting timers and reminders.
Apple calls the Watch “its most personal device ever”. The question is do we need to be personal with technology? Should be be more attached to something because it measures our heart-rate and connects to the internet?
When I was wearing the watch I would check my activity numbers all the time. Instead of occasionally checking my phone for messages they would now appear on my wrist. You can turn various notifications off, but the watch is still right there ready to be checked whenever there is a free moment to do so.
When I get the watch back I am going to reconsider wearing it all the time. I have had a concern that the Activity rings haven’t necessarily been the healthiest method of health tracking for some time. The monthly challenges, for example, are based on your prior months’ activity rate. The algorithm that determines the challenge is linear and not adaptive. That means that the challenges only go up in volume: more calories, more minutes, etc. Eventually that will lead to over-training, which can be as bad or worse than not training at all.
I have not worn the watch for 4 days now. For the first few days I was still checking my wrist for the time. Today was the first day back to work and halfway through the day I realized that I wasn’t standing up as often. I felt more relaxed and less distracted all day.
There is a time and place for the Apple Watch. I will use it for workouts and various activities. However I am not going to wear it all day anymore. At this point the watch and activity rings have become a distraction. I do not need to be reminded to workout and be active. This may change down the road and at that time I will wear it more often.
Its also really cool to pay for things by tapping my watch at the register. 😎