The Apple Watch is a watch made by this company called Apple. Have you heard of it? The watch can send texts, calibrate the Earth’s rotation, and show you an ongoing series of pictures of jellyfish moving underwater. It even tells time.
Another interesting fact about this watch is that people love reviewing it. CNET reviewed it and said, “The watch is beautiful and promising — the most ambitious wearable that exists.” Bloomberg Businessweek reviewed it and was like, “After using it, I had no question that the Apple Watch is the most advanced piece of wearable technology you can buy today.” Even Paul Krugman wrote a review: “A smartphone is useful mainly because it lets you keep track of things; wearables will be useful mainly because they let things keep track of you.” Wearable is a noun, I guess.
I had a Fitbit once and I lost it (where is it?) and I had a watch once and I lost it, so the idea of an Apple wearable was intriguing to me. It’s sort of like both in one. Maybe I wouldn’t lose it because it would become too important to my sense of self and my vision of the future.
Based on that thinking, last week, I went out and procured an Apple Watch for myself. I was surprised that it didn’t look at all like a watch, but instead like a tiny iPhone connected to a watchband. You can pick any kind of watchband you want, though. This isn’t East Germany! I picked the Milanese band, which is a sort of silvery Danish-looking thing that one journalist for The Wall Street Journal said “best matched [her] simple J.Crew style.”
Minutes after I got the watch, I wanted to text my friend but my phone was somewhere deep in my bag. Even when I kneeled on the sidewalk I couldn’t find it. Huzzah, I thought. I will use my Apple Watch to text! “You should get an apple watch!” I said, into the Apple Watch’s tiny microphone (the Apple Watch is too small to actually text on so you have to dictate into a tiny microphone on the side of the watch). Then I perused the emoji. On the Apple Watch, you can subtly adjust your emoji’s expression with a roll of the side dial. After many tries, I was able to get my emoji to look angry and yet yawn at the same time.
While on the subway, I reluctantly investigated the watch’s fitness features. Not only can the watch monitor your heart rate and track how many calories you burn, the watch vibrates into your wrist to remind you to stand for one minute every hour because “sitting is the new smoking.” (It’s NOT though. Come on. It’s really not.) It tracks your steps and your workouts. You can even send your heart rate to your loved one. Perhaps you want this person to check for arrhythmia or something? I have no idea why else you would do that.
Another good part about the Apple Watch is that people keep noticing it on your wrist and saying to you, “Is that the Apple Watch?” or “I like that the band you picked reflects your simple J.Crew style.” For example, I was at a bachelorette party this weekend in Los Angeles, and people there kept noticing the watch and commenting on it because California is extremely friendly. “Is that an Apple Watch?” a man said to me in CVS. “It is!” I said, beaming at him. “Do you like it?” he said. “It’s pretty good!” I said and left the store. I felt like sending him my heartbeat.
The Apple Watch is very informative in a social setting. At one point, the bachelorette party went to a Pilates class (this bachelorette party was incredibly fun) and everyone asked me how many calories we burned during Pilates. “A hundred!” I said proudly, to everyone’s disappointment. The bachelorette party went on a hike. “We hiked for 18 minutes!” I told everyone without them asking. While in a sweaty bar, my heartbeat went really high. “Its like 93,” I bragged into the tiny mic.
In fact, the watch made me a bit more generally outgoing. Because of the watch’s convenience on my wrist and the inability to read on it (I once read War and Peace on my iPhone), I ended up using technology just for basic facts, but not for distracting myself. I actually felt like I talked more to people. Sure, it was about the Apple Watch and how many calories I was burning, but who cares? I never said I was an interesting conversationalist.
I also became addicted to learning all these banal facts about myself that Apple was always monitoring. It is fun to know how many steps you walk and what your pulse is like and how many things you paid for and what your heartbeat sounds like and what you ate and where you went and what you did all day. It is quite a flattering amount of attention. By the end of my week with the watch, I was always checking my progress and standing up randomly when it buzzed me, even in meetings when it was inappropriate because everyone else was sitting. “I have to stand,” I would say, simply and without embarrassment. “Sitting is the new smoking.” Everyone in California loved it.
The best part of my watch so far? I haven’t lost it yet. In fact, I wear it every day. It’s become more than a Fitbit and more than a watch. It is more like a friend.