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Goodbye Apple Watch

August 9, 2020

After over a year of everyday use, I've recently stopped using the Apple Watch.

I remember why I've bought the used one from a friend. I was excited to use it with my alarm app. Waking up with the vibration instead of the sound has its benefits, but I've only used that feature for a week or so. It turns out I was excited about something that I've only used for a week. After I stopped using it for soundless alarms, I've rationalized why I use it until yesterday, when I remembered my analog watch that preceded the Apple Watch.

Being the total opposite of the Apple Watch, which requires daily charging, the analog watch patiently waited in a drawer for over a year and worked without issues all this time. It waited for me and happily continued to do what watches should do: tell the time, all the time. It asked no questions and required no daily care, yet it worked flawlessly right after taking it out of the drawer. It didn't require an update to the latest version of the software, due to security issues and because of the fact it was neglected for the past year.

It's fascinating how I've rationalized all this charging and caring every day about the Apple Watch and what is considered normal these days. I'm a programmer, so it's trendy for my kind to have the latest tech. To use modern technology whenever possible. Yet, I've realized that I don't need modern technology for my watch.

It's funny that this might be a controversial opinion today, but I think wristwatches should tell the time, all the time. They shouldn't require waving around with my arm to do so. They shouldn't need me rotating my wrist for the fifth time, because I didn't turn it correctly for the past four. They should, hear this, work flawlessly even when I'm lying down. I shouldn't suffer the consequences of the fact that Apple couldn't produce a battery that's going to last for a day if the display is turned on all the time. I shouldn't injure my arm because of that fact. I've even caught myself considering upgrading to the last version of the Apple Watch, for only $399 (more like $530 around here), only to liberate myself from all that rotation labor, but then I started analyzing my usage of it and realized that switching to the analog watch is a better option.

I find it atrocious to use vibrations for the notifications. To me, the vibrating wristwatch feels like an electrical collar. It's that same feeling I got with a past client that required I use a time tracker that tracks everything I do on my computer — feeling like cattle.

I find it fascinating that modern society considers vibrations on a wrist whenever someone sends you a message in a chat app that is online 24-7 a useful feature and not a form of torture. I might be weird in this way, but I don't even have notifications enabled on my phone for most things that are considered normal. Disabling most of the notifications might be the best decision I've made for improving my wellbeing.

I don't use any apps on the Apple Watch, since I don't find them useful. I use the apps on the phone. There are only two things that I currently find useful on the Apple Watch: dictation to set the timer and reminders to stand up. In order to have these features, which are more of minor conveniences than features I can't live without, I have to worry about charging this thing every day. I have to carry yet another charger for the watch whenever I travel somewhere. I have to think about it. Do I use it, or does it use me? I think it's the latter since I have changed my behavior because of it. For what? A minor convenience!? Screw. That.

Meanwhile, this analog wristwatch that I left in the drawer was quietly delivering the only feature I've purchased it for. Every second that passed, it told the time. Marvelous! And it didn't cost a fortune when I bought it ten years ago. Amazingly, its price is still the same as when I bought it. There are not a lot of changes in the analog watch world. No one pushes you to update to the latest version every year. This somehow reminds me of coming back to Rails after drowning in the chaotic world of JavaScript for a year. Maybe I'm getting old, but my love for stability is increasing lately.

All this time, I was rationalizing my purchase of the Apple Watch. I thought it was still worth it. It was still useful. Boy, was I wrong. I realize now that Apple Watch is one of the stupidest purchases I've made since it doesn't deliver the most basic feature every watch should: telling the time, all the time.

Apple Watch is expensive (it costs a fortune), annoying (wrist vibrations are the worst), needy (requires charging every day), and unnecessary (its features are minor conveniences) product, and I'm going to stop using it.

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