Why I Stopped Wearing My Smartwatch — And Why I Havent Looked Back
I fell in love with smartwatches when I got the first generation Moto 360, a beautiful and stylish smartwatch with Google's first smartwatch operating system. Since then, I've tested and reviewed more than a dozen fitness devices, including the Apple Watch SE and the Amazfit GTR and GTS series. And over time I started to hate the produce section.
I gave up on smartwatches a few months ago, which is why I won't be going back any time soon (except for reviews).
Data, data and more data
I wore the smart watch to sleep. And when I wake up, my daily routine is to check how well I slept. Habit leads me to smartwatches first, then apps. I couldn't wake up and was immediately overwhelmed with information: light sleep, deep sleep, REM, etc.
And when I'm done, I make a habit of checking additional fitness data, like how many steps I took the previous day and how many calories I burned. I was absorbed in the screen for the first 20 minutes of the day.
To make matters worse, every time I look up to check my watch, I'm hit with information overload again. Raise your wrist to see the time? This is the number of kilometers traveled today. Does the day end without much walking? Oh, that's a sad reminder that you missed your goal. Are you working to close this cycle of activity? That's the badge for you.
Wearing a smartwatch is throwing data in your face. And often you don't know what to do with that data.
A smartwatch might help some people stay fit, but wearing a ring or sharing fitness information with friends doesn't motivate me to exercise more. In fact, every time I see a friend close the ring while I'm eating pizza, I cringe.
I don't always want to be ready to use tools
Smartwatches are designed to be available when you need them, not the other way around. I noticed it was the other way around for me.
Are you in a meeting and get a notification? Here, I swipe right to skip. Out with friends and getting a ping on your wrist? He's your boss and he wants to work tomorrow. Having dinner with the family and catching up on spam? simple To finish, press the red icon.
There are two models here. First, not all notifications are time sensitive. In fact, I'd say most of the notifications you get on your smartwatch aren't time sensitive. Notifications can wait. You usually see it on your wrist and swipe it. Second, these notifications interfere with your current life.
I don't want my wrists banging when I have dinner with mom and dad. Let me eat in peace. Allow me to spend time with friends after work without having to constantly connect to cyberspace. Let me focus on the meeting every minute without leaving the conversation.
It sounds cliché, but I really want people to be present in what they're doing, not distracted by their little gadget. For me, one in 10 notifications might be urgent and need my attention. In order not to miss this ad, I gave in to nine unnecessary notifications that distracted me from what I was doing in real life.
You can turn off notifications while wearing your smartwatch. But have you really bought a smartwatch to do this? A fitness group works.
Live a stress free life
With that kind of threat, it's only natural to get frustrated and give up on the form factor. I switched to G-Shox and the good old Tissots of the world. I no longer have to wait a second when I look up to look at the time. When I want to see the date, I only see the information I want, not the data the watch wants to give me.
Now my watch works for me, and rightly so. In an information-hungry world where we want to track every calorie intake and every step we take, sometimes it's good to step back and consider your options. Always available for your smartwatch or always available? If it's the former, you know it's time to take a break from all the restraints and let loose with your stupidity, like I did.
There is something liberating about not being a slave to data. I'm in no rush to close the ring. I don't have to keep track of every calorie I eat. I don't care how much sleep I get. But at the same time, I live a healthier life because the pressure of data on my wrist isn't competing for space in my head. I live a much happier life and I don't have a smart bracelet to thank.