**This post is simply my thoughts on how I felt about the Apple Watch…no judgement about those who may feel differently. It just wasn’t for me.**
If you know me at all, you know that I am a total Apple fangirl. I had the first iPhone right when it came out and have kept up with almost all the new ones as they have come out. I use both my MacBook Air and iPad Air for a whole variety of helpful things. When I began to hear rumors of Apple coming out with a watch…I was instantly curious! The funny thing is that I am not a watch wearer.
One of the perks of working in education is that a get a short break each summer, usually somewhere around 3 weeks away from the office. Several years ago, I decided that I would take off my watch at the beginning of the break in order to really take a break and not worry about the time. We typically travel most of the time that I’m off in order to really unplug and make the most of this intentional time together. After a few summers of taking my watch off for the 3 weeks and then putting it back on when I returned to work, one summer I just didn’t put it back on. And I haven’t missed it a bit. Yes, I can definitely look at the time on my phone pretty easily, but I just liked the idea of not having a watch on and how that helped me feel like I wasn’t rushing around as much.
Several months ago I bought a FitBit Alta. There are a lot of plusses to those things…mostly that it really gave me a clear idea of how active or inactive I was during the day. The idea of hitting 10,000 steps and the accompanying celebration became a cool motivator for me. The downside was that I set up the FitBit to notify me when my phone was ringing or a text came through. That’s where it started to invade my space.
I asked around about the Apple Watch and lots of friends game me their thoughts on it. The prevailing opinion was that it caused them to check their phone less because the notifications were coming right to their wrist. That seemed like a good idea to me. I hate when I miss life because I’m messing with my phone. Why do I still choose my phone? Poor decision making on my part. I value accountability and the phone is an area that I’m not doing a good job of self-regulating. I don’t want my kids to grow up remembering all their childhood memories with mom playing on my phone.
Around the first of the year, I decided to really think about and pray about whether an Apple Watch was a good move for me. I had back to back mission trips coming up to travel to Haiti in the spring and knew that I’d definitely at least wait until I returned from those trips to buy anything. It just didn’t feel right to be wearing a $400 watch in a country where many people don’t know where their one meal a day is going to come from, much less their shelter or anything resembling clean water. I was good with my decision to wait and, in the meantime, found a beautiful bracelet while I was in Haiti. The bracelet simply said HOPE. What a powerful reminder of the fact that we are called to carry the gospel in a way that brings HOPE to all we encounter.
A few weeks after I returned home, I decided it was time to get the Apple Watch. I’d done a lot of reading and really felt like it could be a good move for me. Of course I really leaned into the fitness components to swing my decision. I purchased the watch on a Saturday evening and decided I’d give it a week. Sunday morning was the first time to take it out for a spin. I enjoyed spinning through the watch when I normally would be flipping through my phone. I wore it to school on Monday and enjoyed the ease of checking notifications in meetings without picking up my phone. Tuesday I sort of forgot about it except for when it buzzed me or wanted me to stand up or breath or something. I thought that was pretty funny…what was I to do if the watch forgot to tell me to breath?
By Wednesday I knew. I knew that this watch just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t adding value to my life. If anything, it was causing me to be more aware of my technology and my need to feel connected all the time. Wednesday evening we had a conference at school about Navigating Technology in a Healthy Way. At the conference we learned a lot about the psychology of how the technology is designed and more importantly, how the most connected generation is actually the loneliest and most anxious group of people that the world has ever seen. I went home that night and restored the watch and packed it back into it’s box. Thursday morning in chapel we had the student version of the technology conference and we challenged the students to pick one thing to tell someone that they were going to do to get victory over the pull of technology in their life. I told the teacher sitting next to me, a good friend, that I was going to take my Apple Watch back. I actually went ahead and took it back to Target within the hour.
When I got back in my car, I saw my HOPE bracelet sitting in the console. The Apple Watch didn’t leave enough room on my wrist for both the watch and the bracelet, so I had put the bracelet aside. When I slipped the bracelet back on, it was a powerful reminder that my HOPE is in the Lord and that is what I need to be reminding myself of several times a day. The Apple Watch is a great tool for many for a variety of reasons…but it just wasn’t for me. It didn’t help me grow in my relationship with the Lord or in my commitment to honor and love those I come in contact with. My goal will be to stick with the message of HOPE and I intend to use the real estate on my wrist to tell that story.