I did some poking around recently at what’s happening with smartwatches. I’ve wondered if they were truly something that would make me more productive and honestly, less rude.
I try not to alienate colleagues and clients by constantly checking my iPhone in meetings, or even while at lunch. It drives me nuts when I’m with someone who is constantly checking theirs, (you all know who you are). It makes me feel like I’m not important and I imagine that it has that effect on others.
To be fair however, being in a service business, if I receive an email or a call, it’s important to know who it is and if the matter is urgent (and who wants to always miss the one call from their boss?) The idea of having the ability to feel a vibration on my wrist, then to be able to glance down and see who is calling/texting/emailing is intriguing to me. A quick glance at my watch seems less intrusive than leaving my smartphone on the table, or pulling it out of my purse every ten minutes to check it.
Yet I wonder, am I better served by training myself to leave that smartphone in the purse or even the car while giving my full attention to another person? Will having my wrist vibrate be even more distracting than the smartphone? I’m torn. It’s a common question nowadays: how connected is too connected?
In my opinion, just like any other technology supposedly designed to make us more efficient and keep us more connected, it’s all in how you train yourself to use it. If getting a smartwatch means you are now constantly “checking the time” or talking into your wrist like Get Smart did with his shoe phone, then all you really did was trade your phone check habit for a new “cooler technology” habit. And that is no less rude or distracting in my book. But if it allows you to be more responsive and aware of people’s needs in a discreet way and isn’t abused, why not?
So for what it’s worth, I do think I may jump on this bandwagon at some point and attempt to stay more on top of who is trying to reach me. I have missed important calls or texts because my smartphone was in my purse and was on vibrate, or because I chose to leave it in the car while I was in a meeting. So why not test out a new technology and see if it works for me?
You will see me hold my breath a bit longer though; at least until I see smartwatches have the few features I’m looking for and that appeals to the general female population. I have no desire to have one arm hanging lower than the other because of the massive smartwatch seemingly designed for the average male bodybuilder weighing me down! I’m exaggerating a bit here, but honestly, women are making a lot of the technology purchasing decisions nowadays, why not include us in the thought process when designing and marketing? I’ve looked at a few smartwatches currently available like the Martian or the Smart & Cool watch that didn’t make it past Kickstarter but were really nice…and now I’m waiting for the early 2015 release of the Apple Watch. Price will be another factor of course, but start by giving me something I want to wear that doesn’t throw my back out of alignment and then I’ll worry about the cost. For now I’m intrigued, but not sold.