Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dear Smartwatch: It's Over Between Us

To my dear smartwatch,

While you weren't the first, you will be the last. I hope that you can take some consolation in that thought.

I tried, I really did try to love you. Before you, my sweet LG R, came a Moto 360, and before that, an original Pebble. I thought that smartwatches were my heart's desire, but I have never been more wrong.

My LG R smartwatch, destined for
a happier life. 
I hope that this letter isn't too harsh. There are millions of people who love and adore you, who can't wait to put you on their wrist every morning. But I'm not one of them. (Unfortunately, neither me nor any of your lovers could ever be with you all night long, because, not unlike a vampire who will perish if he doesn't return to his coffin every night, you die if you don't sleep in your charger.)

I was smitten by your abilities, but many of your features, especially your fitness functions were born out of the pages of drugstore health magazines. Counting my steps and monitoring my heart rate told me nothing about my health. I was much better off simply spending an hour in the gym every day than collating data. If you could tell me my blood pressure, how many calories that dinner out is going to set me back, or when I need to go to the dentist, that would be helpful. But you can't.

For a while I liked having your 10,000 watch faces at my disposal. But you know what? Not a single watch face that I downloaded was as pretty as my Grand Seiko, vintage Wittnauer, or Omega. Not one. I'm sorry if that sounds superficial, but rest assured that it's not. Those other, real watch faces are a product of decades of evolution and inspired design. Your watch faces felt like they were a high school senior's art project. Sure, it was exciting to be able to change watch faces whenever I wanted, but just like a buffet dinner, it was quantity over quality.

I admit that being able to talk to you any time was fun and handy. I could look into your face and say, "Convert 150 dollars to euros," "Take a note 'remember to buy milk'," or "Where am I?," and you would dutifully respond...If it wasn't too noisy at the moment. If there was nobody else around, because I hated looking like an idiot talking to my wrist. If I remembered to put you in the charger the night before. (But strangely you were mute when I asked, "Tell me about the ETA 2892 movement.")

I know. I know. That's not all you could do. We played games. You showed me my photo albums. You told me the weather. But I didn't need you to do that. You did that because, I think, you couldn't do much else. You know that I like gadgets, technology, and New Things. But you're not as advanced and versatile as you pretended to be. That sounds mean, but it's true.

You notified me often about a lot of different things: email, messages, weather alerts, event reminders, and bulletins on how little exercise I seemed to be getting. (It never dawned on you that I took you off when I went to the gym.) It felt like you were nagging me all the time. Nag, nag, nag. Sure, I could ask you to stop, and most of the time you stopped graciously. But then you'd find something brand new to nag me about.

I heard that your sexy cousin, the Apple Watch, is an even worse nagger. I heard this from somebody who was enjoying a movie in a theater. After an hour into the movie, his Apple watch told him to stand up, because standing every hour is important for health. Of course, he was able to get his watch to stop bugging him about that, but don't you agree that his watch should have been smart enough not to bother him during a movie?

You have no past. We've talked about this before and that may be the most important reason that I'm breaking up with you. When I think about the other watches I've had, I think about their histories, their families, the generations that nurtured and shaped them. The care and skill that went into creating them. But with you, it's as if your mother was a circuit board and your father was a company's marketing department. I feel emptiness with you on my wrist. The truth is that I never actually had feelings for you.

So, I'm sorry. I just don't want you in my life anymore. I'm sure that you'll find happiness through the great smartwatch dating site, eBay.

No comments:

Post a Comment