When I was a kid, watches with extra abilities were the bomb. I had so many amazing watches, from ones that were little transformable robots to watches with a multitude of functions (stopwatch! notes! simple songs! multiple alarms!) to the holy grail of watches — the game watch.
But by mid-college I stopped wearing one, preferring instead to carry around a timepiece in my pocket. Then, once I got a cell phone — and, later, a smartphone — I felt that we as a society had long since abandoned any need or want for timepieces strapped to our wrist and giving us sweaty tan lines.
But then smartwatches started showing up — fitbits, apple, samsung, the whole enchilada. It didn’t appear to be an overnight technological revolution, but rather a gradual creeping back in of watches. Even today, I don’t see a ton of people wearing them, but there are far more than there used to be. Yet I haven’t felt the slightest inclination to return to an era of watch-wearing.
Maybe it’s because I’m old enough to remember being shackled to watches and then being freed of them, whereas younger generations might find it more of a novelty or a progression from a naked wrist to one adorned with precious technology. But seriously, it feel so backwards to me to have everything I needed from a watch back in the day — and then a whole lot more on top of that — jammed into a phone, only to add a superfluous technological appendage on top of that.
I’ve thought about smartwatches and read up on them, but their main selling points aren’t so much for me. Having a constant heart monitor? Honestly, that would stress me the heck out to see my heart beat being tracked. Being able to access messages/music/notifications 0.5 seconds faster than taking my phone out of my pocket? That’s not a $300 time saver for me. What about as a status symbol? I seriously doubt that anyone will revise their opinion of me if I’ve got a glassy black slab strapped to my arm.
Besides, the downsides of having an extra device to charge and having to tether a watch to a phone seems to me slightly onerous.
Not every piece of technology is for me, nor am I poo-pooing smartwatches because I’m not on board with them. Many people who have them have told me (upon me asking them) that they’re pretty happy with the watches and find them useful in some way. But for me, the watch-wearing portion of my life went out the door in 1996, never to return. I’m OK with that.