PCs lead us indoors. Smartphones lead us into isolation. The Apple Watch is—sort-of—leading us back out into the real world again by encouraging movement, keeping phones in pockets, and most importantly, looking up again.
I’ve owned an Apple Watch since the Series 0 started shipped 26 months ago. I can’t imagine ever not owning one again. Actually I can, but only when some higher form of “wearable” supersedes the form of a wrist watch.
If I were to say, “I’m more active because of the Apple Watch,” a non-Watch person might say “You shouldn’t need a watch to make you more active. After all, people were active for millennia without smart watches.”
Well played armchair anthropologist, but that perspective overlooks the motionlessness of modernity. In the blink of an eye, humans have simply stopped moving. Being indoors with technology is too appealing, and our bodies,… on yeah, we still have bodies! We have all kinds of shit going on besides thumbs and eyes. Well, we should probably move the other parts around a little. Who knows—maybe even a lot.
In other words, we’re poorly adapted for the environment we suddenly created for ourselves at the turn of the 21st century. But we are human. And we are nothing if not interested in solving the problems we create for ourselves. I think health-aware technology is a natural adaptation to health-hostile effects of generations one and two of personal computing.
Oh yeah… I just bought a new Apple Watch. More honestly, I just bought a new health-tracking wrist computer that’s more waterproof so I don’t have to take it off when I go swimming with my kids—the only time I’ve had to take off my original Apple Watch in the 26 months I’ve owned it.
Bigger picture, I’ve decided that if I’m going to have the benefits of technology that makes me sit still, I also need technology to counteract that. This is life, and these are not horrible problems to have to solve.