Slowly becoming a slave to the Watch, thoughts & why I'll probably be returning it.

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Viva, May 4, 2015.

  1. Viva macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2008
    Putting the Genie back in the watch!

    I have been fortunate enough to have received my SS Apple Watch a few weeks earlier than the*May 17th/June delivery period and obviously eager to try it out. I'll get the usual "its beautiful, great screen, fits perfectly" etc. all out of the way as they're all true.

    I have been using/wearing it pretty much from getting up to going to bed and looking forward to all of the little nudges and bits of information to be presented on a day to day basis.

    I really only wish to touch upon a few little points I have not really read too much about:

    Once you get over the initial wow factor of receiving all the little alerts (and turning off the many that you do not wish to have!) you quickly realise that this brings with it all number of little niggles that may just make you reconsider things.

    Normally you would hear a beep/alert on your phone, be it iMessage/WhatsApp, Tweet, Email and then perhaps delay looking at it until *you* are ready. You do not feel obliged to do anything just because your phone has made a noise. No one knows when you are going to see the message, if you have the phone with you at the time, etc. This changes entirely with the watch as you are immediately 'nudged' like a little child tugging to take a look at your notifications. In my case this might be an iM from my girlfriend, let's say. Because I have the watch I now am 'expected' to read the text immediately and have no excuse but to set an internal note knowing that the longer I leave it the more its looking like she is being ignored. I'm slowly becoming a slave to this thing (the watch, not the girlfriend.. although!) and that's a problem I never even considered.

    This then translates into other aspects of your daily routine. Its the 'nudging' followed by a feeling or urgency to act. Its all to easy to look at this wonderful little device as soon as you receive the nudges that are pulling you towards it. But in so doing, you become too involved as though you are in the thick of everything rather than a few steps back before. The few steps back felt a lot calmer I must say.

    I wash up. I'm a modern man!! :) I'm finding I take my watch off when doing the washing up. Thats a bit of an effort. I actually put the watch on knowing I'm going to be taking it off again at one or two points in the day and putting it back on again. Thats something I never thought I'd be doing. But it adds another "Oh.. another little niggle for me" as I have to put it to one side to take care of it too. I never did this before, I just put my phone to one side and did my normal things.*

    Worried about knocking it! You are no longer free to haphazardly walk into walls (not that I do a lot of that!) but you find (if you've not worn a watch in years and years like me!) that you might actually take into consideration actually walking around tight corners, even in your own home!! It's ridiculous that you know at some point or another your expensive device is going to take a hard knock. Either from the girlfriend for not responding sooner to texts or the hazards that are everywhere! :)

    The end result is that it is such a fabulous gadget, lovely to look at., truly is. But really, the true impact to your life is not all that its cracked up to be. Being right bang in the thick of receiving alerts beyond important reminders, it tells the time. The other bits are fine but the unseen changes to your lifestyle need to also be taken into consideration too.

    I am currently in the middle of my first deliberate day of not wearing the watch to see if I could go back to not having it around. I can, quite easily. I have a further few days before I need to hit the Return button on my account, and it's looking highly likely that I might just do that.
  2. sjinsjca macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2008
    This strikes me as the crux of your commentary. You're not used to wearing a watch, and so it's on your mind and causing you to perseverate.

    Just enjoy it.
  3. VSMacOne macrumors 601


    Oct 18, 2008
    This is the Apple product that I'm least OCD about. I've decided to not change my habits around the watch, but simply go about my business the same way. I wouldn't shower with a regular watch on anyways, so that's usually not a problem. I've gotten some water on the watch and no issues so far, so I think your "washing up" shouldn't be a problem.
  4. GrumpyMom macrumors 603


    Sep 11, 2014
    You make some good points. They won't be relevant to everyone, but they are good points.

    The thing about the girlfriend...okay now that's an expectation that needs to be managed sooner rather than later. My husband has an Apple Watch, as do I. We both know that yes, technically the other is now immediately aware when the other has sent a text. However there's another element called mutual respect involved in that.

    I respect that his time is his own, each moment is valuable to him and I do not have a claim to his every waking moment and he does not have to provide me with reasons, excuses, or justification for not immediately responding to me. He can choose to ignore me just because he feels like it and that's fine. As long as it is not an emergency and by emergency we are talking about a real one, not some drama llama crisis. And this goes both ways. I'm not expected to be at his beck and call, either.

    There are some important people in our lives like parents and in-laws who have a problem with this. For example my mother-in-law once had my husband yanked out of a business meeting because my father-in-law couldn't get his cable TV to work and was driving her nuts. She kept calling my husband's cell phone until he answered, which is something she is supposed to do only in a true medical emergency. When family members or friends violate this respect, we do talk to them about it.

    I do have an exception to this. I have a friend whose children are good friends with mine. This friend is a drama llama and she has borderline personality disorder traits. Not only does she pitch a fit, throw a snit, and complain about me endlessly if I fail to return her calls right away, she escalates it to an astonishing degree if her children's calls and messages fail to be taken or returned immediately by mine. (She takes her sweet time getting back to me, if she bothers at all). She's not at all amenable to reason, so I actually whip my Apple Watch off and stuff it in my pocket when I see her! At some point the relationship will cease entirely. We've already had a few bouts of not speaking to each other. We've been maintaining what we have for the sake of the kids, who are all great kids and deserve better out of us adults than they've gotten.

    So, I'm not without sympathy to your post. Have a talk with your girlfriend and any other pertinent parties about reasonable expectations for your availability now that you have the watch. If anyone pitches a fit, pitch them. They would end up stressing you out and disrespecting your time even if we somehow return to the era of pagers and pay phones.

    My husband and I have been together as a couple for 28 years. You can't last any length of time with anyone, romantically or platonically, especially not in this connected age, without setting and respecting boundaries and all concepts of "personal space".
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I see it differently. It's easier to dismiss notifications on the Watch since it can be done more quickly. As for not responding to every notification, it's the same as not constantly looking at a phone every time you receive a notification.
  6. profmatt macrumors 65816


    Mar 7, 2015
    I did the "cold turkey" thing yesterday. I packaged up the watch today and hit the Return button.

    I mentioned elsewhere that I found the watch irritating – you've put your finger on one of the reasons why. I'm already over-connected: I don't need something else nagging me for attention. (Not that it's even reliable at doing that!)
  7. bunnicula macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2008
    Same here. I find it much easier to dismiss people with the watch.
  8. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    I have all my email on the watch, but I have it notify only of the two email accounts that are the most personal/professional, not much goes to them.

    That way, when I do get an email or iMessage pushed to me, it's important enough I want to see it and appreciate if I'm busy or have my hands occupied, I can look at the wrist quickly.

    Still, I would say it's a limited use case, I could live without it again. It would be tempting to have an iPad Air 2 for the same amount of money as a stainless.
  9. BrettDS macrumors 65816

    Nov 14, 2012
    Honestly, I think this will change as you give it time. When you first got a smart phone my guess would be that you immediately picked it up and checked every time you got a beep/alert and over time you realized that you don't need to check it immediately and it's the same with the watch. I've been wearing a pebble watch for a year and a half before I got the apple watch and I *love* to get notifications on my wrist. Much of the time when I get a notification I do check it right away because it's so easy to take a quick glance at my wrist, but there are times when I'm driving or in a meeting or conversation with someone where it would be dangerous or inappropriate and at this point I have no problems ignoring the notification until I'm ready to deal with it. None of my friends or family expect me to be instantly available just because I can get their notification on my wrist.

    For me, one of the big benefits is that I can check my notifications quickly and easily determine if it's something that I do need to pick up my phone and respond to right away or if it's something that can wait.

    The watch is waterproof enough that you can wash your hands without taking it off. It might feel a little weird since you're not used to wearing a watch, but you're just causing yourself more work by taking it off first every time.

    I think this is similar to every new gadget too.. even with a new phone I tend to baby it a bit more than a phone I've had for a few months. I think again that over time this won't be always on your mind.

    The watch may not be for you, but if I was you I'd take advantage of your 14 day return policy... wear it every day for 14 days (including while you wash your hands) and I think you'll settle in and most of your complaints won't seem so bad. Or maybe not. If not, then go ahead and return it. At least you've tried.
  10. noobinator macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    I agree with OP. Cell phones in general were the first step towards people always expecting you to answer/reply quickly. I had a gf once that I wouldn't answer her text/call and I'd always hear "I know you have your phone on you 24/7 and check it constantly so why didn't you reply???". Yes, she is an ex now.

    Now with smart watches it's even harder to say, oh I forgot it at home or in the car. It's "I know you have your watch on 24/7 and it makes your wrist vibrate and forces you to read it so how dare you ignore me!"

    This doesn't obviously happen with anyone but I believe people's expectations in general about expecting a fast reply go up when they know you have a smart watch.
  11. sparkyms macrumors 65816

    Feb 22, 2007
    Southampton UK
    I'll third that - the amount of messages that now 'wait till later' rather than opening up the app to see whats up has really declined. Before, once I'd picked the phone up to check the notification I may as well open the app and reply to the message.

    Now I don't pick the phone up, if I see the message is fairly unimportant it gets dismissed, rather then pick phone up, unlock, reply, and be tempted to check other apps.

    Dismiss. Done.
  12. HarpuaPerk macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2015
  13. parseckadet macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Excellent points! However, I will add that this is not necessarily a sign of bad personality traits of the OP's girlfriend. I think all couples, especially younger couples (i.e. in their 20's), are still feeling out what it means to be in a more committed relationship. That means there can sometimes be trust issues that are the result of insecurities. A successful couple will recognize when these insecurities manifest themselves in seemingly unrelated behaviors, and reassure each other. They'll also be receptive to these reassurances. These behaviors are signs of two maturing adults learning to trust each other.

    To put it into specifics. OP, what I hear you saying is that your girlfriend hasn't really expressed to you that she expects you to respond to her text the instant you see it. Instead, I hear you saying that's what you suspect she wants. So in a sense, you're not trusting her to behave reasonably. Perhaps that mistrust is earned, perhaps it's not. Only you can know that. One final thought, if your girlfriend truly needed your attention right away, she shouldn't use a text message to express that need. She should call. But I digress.

    What this post is showing us is, just like any other piece of technology, the Apple Watch isn't going to solve all of our problems for us. We project onto it our own idiosyncrasies. That urge to respond to a text isn't coming from the watch, it's coming from within ourselves. I think the expectation that this would somehow not be the case for the Apple Watch is why we saw so many seemingly negative reviews pre-launch (I'm looking at you Nilay Patel).
  14. Knowimagination macrumors 68000


    Apr 6, 2010
    Becoming a slave to the watch seriously....

    I really wish instead of people trying justify or rationalize to us why they are getting rid of the watch that they just returned it quietly. If for some reason you feel that a tap on your wrist is more important than a beep on your phone I don't know what to tell you. Im not really sure why anyone who ignores notifications would buy the watch in the first place.

    For me it's way more convenient to glance at my watch to see if it is something important than to pull out my phone every time I get an alert. It's waterproof so I just wash my hands when I need to no removing watch necessary, and really banging into walls is a reason to get rid of it?
  15. Viva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2008
    The intricacies of relationships with your partner, friends or family soon after everyone realises that "you know/they know" that you have 'physically' received their presence yet chose to ignore it by minutes/hours or days can and will for some create tensions/problems. You make a number of good examples yourself with regard to the needy types or just those that feel it's their God given right to never be ignored. I also have to deal with feeling "obliged" to respond with immediacy because I'm the one that bought the watch and put myself in the thick of it. It's part and parcel of owning and wearing it, but it does come at a price.
  16. SisterBlue22 macrumors 6502


    Apr 29, 2015
    I'm having the opposite experience than the OP. When I'm at work, or out shopping, etc, my phone is in my purse, and the watch allows me to see any incoming notifications at a glance, and decide if any of them are worth pulling my phone out for. I no longer have to "check my phone". There's no one in my life who feels as if I should respond to them immediately (I went down that road once, never again), so it doesn't add any sense of urgency to me.
  17. Viva thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2008
    I think if you get to the point of "should I hit the Return button" then the decision has probably already been made. Though to be honest I am going to give it a little more time.

    I am using my iPad at the moment, I have two iMs pop up on screen and an email. I don't have that urgency to do anything that I have when wearing the phone, and for me that works better. Clearly everyone is different, it's a very "personal" device after all!
  18. HarpuaPerk macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2015
    OP sounded-off a thought I had since the watch was announced:

    Do I really want to be tethered to my personal communication device?

    I think we all have that certain someone in our life who isn't worthy of an immediate response, let alone a response at all. Anyone who knows you have the watch will now be able to pull the, "why didn't you reapond?... You didn't get the message? But you your phone is attached to your wrist. Liar!".

    That's a little unsettling for me, but I'm an introvert.
  19. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    Handwashing? You're taking it off unnecessarily as it's IPX7 water resistant and it's also a pretty anal retentive thing to do.
  20. mightyjabba macrumors 65816


    Sep 25, 2014
    Washing up means doing the dishes.


    I'm glad I don't have anything like that in my life, but it's a fair point. As people become more familiar with the watch, the expectations that they have for how quickly we respond (or if we respond at all) may change.
  21. uiop. macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2008
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Regarding the matter of your girlfriend potentially getting upset that you're not replying promptly upon receipt of her messages - not to get into dating and relationship advice, but that most certainly is not a fault of the watch. :confused:
  22. LoveToMacRumors macrumors 68020


    Feb 15, 2015
  23. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    The Watch is IPX7 water resistant against dishwashing too.
  24. mightyjabba macrumors 65816


    Sep 25, 2014
    It probably would be okay, I'm just saying that removing the watch every time you washed your hands would be ridiculous, while I could understand doing it for dishwashing.
  25. wlow3 macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    So there are people in the forum whose dopamine levels are starting to come down now and are experiencing a manic to depressive swing. Not unexpected.

    As such, some of the accompanying (depressive) criticism seems as excessive, if not irrational, as the initial (manic) praise. This is addressed not just to this poster but to many of the posts along these lines.

    Notifications: Devices that nudge you do it by way of various means, e.g., sound, vibration, taptic taps, etc. How obliged one feels to respond to a nudge is an evaluation that only the user can make. You’re no more obliged to pull your phone out than to look at your wrist than to walk across the room to see what your iPad 'wants'. All of these devices let you scroll back through missed notifications; therefore, you can choose to look as a notification whenever it suits you. Some devices, you may feel, are more suited for more superfluous notifications, like 'word of the day' or less time-critical ones like movie x now available on iTunes. If you're like the Verge critic who had notifications going off like kernels of popcorn popping in a microwave then you haven't really thought about the roll of the device in your life in terms of what notifications you want from it. From the watch, I only want notifications that may really need my attention at that moment: phone calls, messages, dark sky storm update, delivery notifications. The other stuff can go to my phone. When you have the phone in your pocket and it goes off, it's hard to know whether it's important or not. It's the not knowing that makes one feel obliged to look. Now I know if it makes it to the watch, it may very well be important, but, if not, a two second glance and dismiss is more efficient than six seconds of getting the phone out, hitting the sleep/wake button on and then off again after looking at the notification and then putting it back in your pocket. With the watch I feel less like I'm having to take a brief time out from a current activity. Plus, once you have the phone out, in certain situations you think, oh, well while I have my phone out I think I'll check my _______ (fill in the blank with you social media of choice). There is less of that with the watch. A watch, for me, really does allow me to be more in my life.

    For the people who have not worn a watch in years because of the redundancy of having a cellphone, whatever 'pain' one experiences with having to carry a second device is made up for, in my opinion, with what (1) I describe in the preceding paragraph and (2) all the smart functions available now and coming down the path. If you need screen real estate, you will fish for your phone; however, for activities that don't require screen real estate, like ApplePay or remotely pausing and playing iTunes or one day unlocking your car or house, setting the thermostat, etc. wearables will be where it is at and the watch seems like the most obvious wearable. (Honestly, I'm starting to look at analog watches as relics of a bygone era.) Eventually, they will become power efficient enough or will have better enough batteries so that producers will add GPS and a cell antenna. For many people, these devices will be good enough to allow them to leave their cellphones home. The watch will be the device that starts to cannibalize the cellphone; that's why Apple is making it.

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