Apple Watch etiquette

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by woland8816, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. woland8816 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    #1
    I read someone say that the watch combines two of the rudest gestures, looking at your watch and looking at your phone. I have found this to be true -- especially in meetings. The haptics do create a nearly instinctive reflex to look at your watch, yet turning off the notifications defeats the purpose of having the thing. Any have thoughts on this.
     
  2. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #2
    That's what Do Not Disturb is for. I use it whenever I'm at the dinner table or in a group meeting at work. Notifications aren't that important during these times so it doesn't really defeat the purpose of having the AW.
     
  3. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #3
    Context is everything. If you and I are having a deep and meaningful conversation, and I start looking at either my watch or my phone, I'm being rude. If I'm standing around with a group of people and happen to glance at my wrist, it's perfectly OK.

    It really doesn't matter if the watch dings or the haptics knock - there are plenty of circumstances when we shouldn't look (driving, e.g.). And there are plenty of times when it's quite alright to sneak a peak.
     
  4. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #4
    This has nothing to do with the capabilities of the watch and says everything about the courtesy of the user.

    If you and I are having a conversation and my phone rings, I'll silence it and see who called later. How I use the watch is no different.
     
  5. iamasmith macrumors regular

    iamasmith

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    #5
    Keep the sounds on and that way your notifications are evident to your guests and they won't feel that you are looking to escape if you look at your wrist.

    If at a theatre switch to silent and act on notifications appropriately.

    If you don't wish to answer or be disturbed then silent or off.

    simples.
     
  6. nicho macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #6
    If you're impulsive enough to look at your watch whenever it taps you, thats not the watch' fault.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    If you're on a date, and you're constantly looking at your watch or phone, then yeah that's rude. If you're on the subway, looking at either one, that's not a problem.

    As others have stated, and/or implied context and the situation is what is important. Neither product (watch or phone) is inherently bad, but poor habits is what causes the issues.
     
  8. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    I think that it's possible that at this time, looking at your watch can be considered more rude than looking at your phone as the latter has become a social norm while the former has not. In practice, I have found that by limiting the notifications that come to my watch, and turning off all sounds on both my phone and the watch, I only get a tap on the wrist when an important notification comes in. It's easy to ignore for the moment when it comes in if I'm involved in a conversation or would otherwise be poor form, but it's much easier to casually glance at your watch in a meeting than your phone, and you are much less likely to stay involved with the device for any longer than is necessary to read the alert. So overall I find that it's a net improvement.
     
  9. Thalyn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Toronto
    #9
    It's all about self-control, IMO. When I know I'm going to be in a situation where checking my watch is rude, I turn on Do-Not-Disturb mode. Other times, I turn off the sound and let the notifications come in via the taptic engine. I check them if I can. If I can't; I don't.

    You just have to adjust your own behaviour and exercise self-control based on circumstances.
     
  10. IphoneIssues macrumors 65816

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    Dec 30, 2010
  11. dotnet macrumors 6502a

    dotnet

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    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    I just yawn a little before I look at the watch. That way people don't think I'm infatuated with my gadgets... :cool:
     
  12. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    Isn't that the whole point of getting notifications on your wrist? If you were just going to ignore them and look at them later why not just look at them on your iPhone?
     
  13. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #13
    The point is you have to consider the relative importance of checking the notifications on the spot. I.e., they are not that important during, say, a group meeting at work, a job interview, at the dinner table, etc. Just don't be so impulsive that you cannot help but look and come across as rude (and lose your job and so on). Otherwise, use DND.
     
  14. deany macrumors 68020

    deany

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #14
    Yes my watch gave the haptic feedback (watch & phone always in silent) when I was in lying flat in the dentists chair & couldn't resist.

    My dentist just asked if everything was alright, I just nodded!

    I wonder if it was the first time that has happened to her, its nice to different, but not good to be rude of course.
     
  15. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #15
    I think the watch gives me a second layer of screening.

    It's ultimately up to me whether to check the watch, of course. But if the situation doesn't require my undivided attention (like going for a walk, watching tv, or having lunch), getting a tap from the watch lets me know if I need to tend to the message right away or if it can wait until later -- or if it needs a reply at all. I can leave my phone in my pocket or backpack and I can still be reached.

    I kinda like the idea of turning the sound on so people can notice I'm getting a message and I'm not just checking the time because I'm bored, but maybe it would also depend on what kind of crowd I'm with, too.

    The good thing is, it's very easy to switch Mute and DND on or off.
     
  16. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    #16
    Normally I'd agree with you about the subway. However, the woman I cracked on the head this morning on the Time Square shuttle as I tried to get my watch display to come on would probably beg to disagree! :(
     
  17. von franklin macrumors regular

    von franklin

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #17
    Just look at it see who it and go back to the meeting its not rude.
     
  18. Flow39 macrumors 68000

    Flow39

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    Sep 7, 2014
    Location:
    At the Apple Store
    #18
    It all depends on the situation. I try to not check any watch when I'm in conversation with people. It looks like you're in a big hurry to get somewhere or are uninterested in talking to them.

    I also am more hesitant to check my Apple Watch when around others. Since it requires me to actually raise my wrist, it looks like I am trying to show it off. I hope in a future software update they add always-on display to the Watch.
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    You need to have situational awareness. I made a generalized statement but of course there will be times on the subway when its better not to look at it.

    I hope everyone is ok.
     
  20. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

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    Jul 16, 2015
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    #20
    This is one reason I think haptics are brilliant, and they would be even better if we had more control to specify distinctive haptics for things like messages from specific individuals.. If I get a minor haptic (like from a standard notification or text message) I will ignore it if I am in a situation where my focus should not be interrupted. If I get a flurry of repeated taps I may decide that I better check my wrist to see if it's an emergency. Or I may not. It depends on the context. I have told my wife and my staff to call me if there is an emergency. That will produce a very different type of haptic feedback on the watch.

    As far as the gesture goes: I will wait until an appropriate time to steal a glance at my watch. Sometimes I can do this in a more subtle way than checking my iPhone, but if I am afraid someone may interpret my wrist-ward glance as boredom or impatience I will wait until there is a break in the meeting. Quite often I ignore a notification because I really am engaged in where I am or what I am doing and don't want to be interrupted. When I am ready to check my watch later those notifications will still be there and the red dot will remind me to check them.

    Anyone can be polite or rude with or without a variety of tools. Looking at your watch in a meeting, or while having a serious conversation with someone, has long been considered to be inappropriate unless you have already made it clear that you need to watch the time because of an adjacent meeting. The era of text messaging and smartphones has given us new ways to imply that we are not fully present in a meeting (or even on a date). On the other hand it has become more socially acceptable in some offices to use a smartphone during a meeting because that is how some people take notes or review talking points these days. You have to consider the context as well as the people you are meeting with. If I am expecting an important notification, or I feel like someone is trying to urgently reach me, I will sometimes excuse myself for a moment and check my watch and/or iPhone outside of the meeting. If the focus is not on me, and it's a large group, I will check my watch in the meeting. I often use my iPad for notes in a meeting, so I can check that for new messages as well without glancing at the watch. Even in a casual situation I will apologize if I feel I need to check my watch mid-conversation. Quite often I will just ignore it, but if I'm expecting an important text from my wife I will let the person I am with know.

    Not too many years ago we did not have the personal technology to be so easily interrupted. We were difficult to reach in meetings or in social engagements. There is something to be said for that. On the other hand it is now much easier for us to be found in the event of an emergency, but what exactly constitutes an emergency? Even when the issue is not time-sensitive, there is a growing expectation that we should respond to messages quickly. Here is where the watch may be making things a little worse: In the past you could always tell someone that you didn't get their text message because your phone was not on you at the time. I have had people say to me, "Didn't you get my text message from two hours ago? I thought you got all your messages right away on your Apple Watch."

    So I think the new etiquette rules for personal technology should include something like: I will do my best to ignore notifications and texts from others during our conversation, and I hope that you will forgive me if I temporarily ignore texts from you when my focus needs to be elsewhere.

    Sean
     
  21. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    #21
    Great post! Also, a good argument for using the VIP functionality of your phone/AW in combination. When I first got my watch, every email was coming through. Thankfully, it was the Christmas holiday, so it wasn't much. But when I got back to work in January, my watch was buzzing constantly. I quickly filtered the mail notifications coming through to just my VIPs. I did expand my VIP list a bit to make sure critical mails hit my phone. Similarly, you can mute your activity notifications and notifications from certain other apps. Finally, when all fails, turn on Do Not Disturb.
     
  22. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Japan
    #22

    Just turn off this stuff for, you know, meetings.


    Need messages that bad in meetings here is what I do...I run the stuff through a ipad mini I also use to take notes. It becomes the ninja toy as it were. I'd be lying used only for meeting and not other things at same time.



    Or in some case looking at the watch might be rude...but also be needed. We all know that speaker who made their point.....10 minutes ago.... and is just droning on now for no clear reason beyond an apparent liking to hear the sound of their voice really. the Oscars have the get off the stage music. Some marathon presenters need the (not so) subtle hint its time to move on. Watch watching does the trick here.

    Case of public transport...case by case really. I tbh never even play with phone if a packed subway car. Fire up tunes, phones in ear, slip phone in pocket and call it done. Avoids swinging around of the arms.

    or there is the old manual labor approach to this. twist the watch to face down away from bottom of wrist. More manual stuff this done to prevent banging of watch. One tends to hit the top of wrist not the bottom. standing and holding the strap on a subway car...its a mild turn of wrist to read it most likely.
     
  23. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Cabin by a lake
    #23
    If I'm in a meeting, I rotate my watch to the inside of my wrist. Then with my hands resting on the table with my fingers together and the watch facing me, it's all pretty private.

    With an always-on Android Wear watch, I don't even have to move at all to see the notification.

    With an Apple Watch, you can discreetly tap the face using say, your other hand's thumb, to wake the watch.
     
  24. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #24
    I feel ya.

    I utterly despise rapid-fire text conversations. Thirty texts in forty minutes to convey what could have been said in a three-minute phone call? Shoot me.

    I try to treat texts as "electronic Post-It notes", and I'll get to them when I get to them. I also don't expect any of my recipients to respond immediately to a mere text. If it really can't wait, I'll call, and if they can't be interrupted, they can easily turn me down, too.

    And I will NEVR expect a response of any kind when I think they'll be driving.

    Here's my hierarchy:
    Text: Hey, let's reschedule tomorrow morning. Shoot me a new time.
    Email: Here's that document we need filled out.
    Call: "****'s on fire!!!"

    I'll purposely use my watch's replies for a simple "ok" or "roger" (or an animated thumbs-up if I know the other person is on iOS) and leave it at that. Most of the time, it's all we need to know information was received.
     

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