The wearable technology industry is growing at a rapid pace and the biggest names in tech are putting a lot of energy into new products. I didn’t want to be left in the dust, so I hunted around for a reasonably priced smartwatch before settling on the LG G Watch. I found a Google employee on Craigslist who had bought a better smartwatch so I picked it up from him for very cheap.
I expected to get most of the functionality of it from various apps and notifications and the watch works really well in that respect. But what it does even better is much more than any other watch or phone can do: It makes me a better person.
Smartphones have become an essential part of our society and with good reason. They’ve managed to solve many of the daily problems that we now rarely give a second thought to, like getting lost, deciding what’s for dinner or simply remembering to pick up milk on the way home.
For all the good that smartphones do, many of us suffer from the fear of missing out: missing texts, missing messages, missing invites, missing calls, etc. What’s worse is that the stakes have gotten higher. Friends get mad if their text is ignored for too long, mothers get worried if their children don’t pick up the phone and careers live and die by attention to email. This constant connectivity breeds anxiety. There are countless apps, self-help books and websites dedicated to getting away from your phone and the stress that accompanies it.
The catch is that those solutions don’t fix the problem; they don’t teach us the virtue of being in the moment or alleviate the fear of missing out. They simply highlight the problem.
When Apple stepped into the wearable tech ring this year with the Apple Watch, they quickly illustrated what it would really do. It would free the wearer from looking at their phone in fear.
“We’re so connected, kind of ever-presently, with technology now,” Lynch says. “People are carrying their phones with them and looking at the screen so much.” They’ve glared down their noses at those who bury themselves in their phones at the dinner table and then absentmindedly thrust hands into their own pockets at every ding or buzz. “People want that level of engagement,” Lynch says. “But how do we provide it in a way that’s a little more human, a little more in the moment when you’re with somebody?” – http://www.wired.com/2015/04/the-apple-watch/
Imagine you’re out to dinner with friends. The conversation is engaging, but then you get a text. You pick up your phone to make sure it isn’t something important, but by the time you turn back to the conversation it’s moved on or died. Everyone at the table is following suit and checking their phones in some Pavlovian sense of urgency.
By moving the display to your wrist and physically attaching it to your body, you can’t miss a thing. Gone are the days of missing a notification when your phone is in your pocket or because you couldn’t hear the ring in a crowded room. You can live with the peace of mind that you won’t miss anything and the freedom of learning to ignore your phone.
Now when I’m out with friends with my watch on, if I get a text I can glance at the watch, see that it wasn’t important, know it wasn’t important and ignore it. I can always get back to it later, but I didn’t have to physically halt the conversation or insult the person I’m talking to. My psychological need to be connected was satiated in a healthy way. I am plugged in, but not interrupted.