I decided to give up on the Apple Watch for a month at the start of the month, and today is the last day, and I wanted to reflect on what I learned and write them down for my future self.
TL.DR➖ I definitely do miss my apple watch, but not enough that I plan to keep buying the subsequent versions as and when it launches.
I’ve worn it so long on my wrist I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have it on me. I bought the Apple Watch first-gen and ever since had one on my person, so roughly close to 6 years. It’d be such a long time that I could use a break for a few days, that is when I realised, instead of few days, let me make it a month and understand what I enjoyed and what I didn’t about going Watch free for a month.
The first few days were a little odd, and I missed the Watch a bit more than I had expected; I didn’t expect that I relied on the apple watch so much for so many things daily. I used it to keep tabs on my time, especially when I was in the kitchen trying to cook or juggling time-sensitive tasks due to work timings. So having a timepiece on myself was very useful, so even if I don’t need an apple watch, I definitely need a Watch on me to stay on top of time. The mornings are always the rush, but once I am off my work, the lack of knowing time is kinda liberating. So I’ve mixed feelings here, but given how much of life revolves around work and punctuality is essential, I will need a Watch for myself.
Not trying to stand up every hour to complete the stand goal was a relief. While the stand goals are reasonable from a healthy perspective, it is more interruption than anything. I would instead prioritise the activity goal than just the stand goal. I pride myself on completing all the 3 goals/rings that I have set for myself. So it’s really going to be hard for me not to achieve this when I get to wear the Watch again tomorrow. I think my compulsiveness to meet would win with this battle of giving up on apple rings even if I feel interrupted during focused work. I may even disable the goals, but I doubt I will stick to them.
Notifications are the Boon and the Bane of all the smart devices, and Apple Watch is no different. I definitely missed them during my drives in the car. A quick glance on the Watch is always better than pulling the phone out, especially when your hands are right there on the steering wheel. I definitely like that not having them during work helped me stay focused on my work with lesser distractions. While I definitely feel there wasn’t a lot of context switching during the work hours without the Watch on me, I definitely did get some anxiety on some notifications, i.e. food delivery notifications which I didn’t want to miss during work hours. There was some random checking of the phone to check if I missed any of them on some days. So what I want to do here when I get back to the Watch is to review the notifications and tune them just enough to reduce the anxiety while maximising distraction-free time, especially during work hours.
I didn’t do any run workouts this entire month, nor were there any plans for running or tracking workouts, so I didn’t miss any apps in any fashion. Had I been running, this no watch month would have been impossible, to begin with.
If you know me, you know I try to track everything. Sleep is one among those that I track, and not having the apple watch was kind of a let down in this space. I used to track sleep on my Watch even before Apple released its own version of sleep tracking. I liked that my morning alarms were just a wrist buzz. Even though I have a pleasant tone to wake up to, I find it jarring to wake up to an alarm and tapping the wrist to disable the vibrations on the Watch was a lot easier. I really look forward to waking up to the tapping of the Watch starting tomorrow.
In all, it was a fun experiment to learn a few things about my likes and dislikes with the Watch. 30-day hiatus helped me understand what I used my Watch for and what could be improved for the years to come. Trying these 30-day experiments is also fun, and I would like to try some more such experiments. If you tried something similar and enjoyed it or hated it, please let me know in the comments. If you have any ideas for such experiments, do share them with me.
I am the person that sticks to originals. I usually buy something, and I hardly make any modifications on them to make it mine. Colour me a purist if you will. I just like to keep things the way they were intended and let them die the same except for two things that I can think of. One is my bike that got repainted, and the next one is my company provided Apple MacBook pro, which is heavily stickered to differentiate when I am on trips with my colleagues. There are hundreds of MacBook pros that look alike.
I had a minor kerfuffle about 6 weeks back, and I dinged my Apple Watch Series 5 when I was trying to cleat in. While the little scratch is hardly visible to anybody else, it never missed my eye, when I take a look at the time. It was getting annoying to the extent that I wanted to replace the watch within 11 months of purchase which is not my thing. The watches are usually on a 2-year cycle plus I wasn’t impressed enough to upgrade to the Series 6 this year. The disappointment with the dent was real and so was not upgrading, so I decided to look for third party cases that could conceal the ding so that I can live with it.
I considered a clear case and the black sport strap as I was hoping that would conceal the ding and make it protective for future dings. But boy was I wrong by miles. The case was hideous, especially with my grey watch and the black strap that I removed it instantaneously and tagged it a $7 waste for me. That said it looks great on a silver watch with a grey strap and looks fine. I came across the rugged armour Spigen case, and it was interesting as it held the watch inside the case and it offered at least an mm of silicone thickness over the screen and its edges were just enough to cover most of the scratches on my watch, but not 100%. I took a chance of adding another $20 to my already existing waste pile of $7 But I am impressed now. If you are on the fence, I would totally recommend it.
I have a small wrist which got me worried on the looks. I still gave it a shot. I was surprised that the first two people who saw with this case congratulated me on a new watch and then I had to clarify it was just a new strap. The rugged outdoors look was impressing people who saw it on me. It didn’t look too big, even for my wrist. Moreover, I was happy to sport the same colour to match my phone in green.
When I wore it the first time, there was a big gap between the watches HR sensor and my wrist, which I thought would make my HR readings inaccurate. I couldn’t wear it any tighter as I ran out of slots with the classic buckles on the strap. I was already on the nearest buckle hole. I was wrong; my readings are still the same. The watch with the case actually weights 2 grams lesser than the apple watch with sports loop at 61grams. It does feel durable, well designed and sturdy. The only con that I think of right now is that this feels too chunky to wear to the bed, but I got used to it anyway, and now it doesn’t matter.
So yes, I will recommend you try it for your outdoor activities, I feel this case is a good value for money. In fact, I am so convinced right now that I am considering a case for my phone from Spigen. I am not sure I will go for it yet given the hefty price I paid for the silicone case, but that is a topic for another time. If you have any thoughts or questions or recommendations (I am not a purist anymore, hahaha!), please leave them in the comments.
That time of life when you are disturbed, maybe things aren’t falling into place as often as you want them to, things are too volatile, you feel the urge to step on the throttle, yet nothing works because there isn’t a clear direction. That’s when you do a lot of introspection, a bunch of soul searching and you also come up with ways to blame yourself for everything that is going on. You tend to be a bit harsher on yourself than needed, you find fault in all the missteps that led to this moment, and you want to blame it on someone, but eventually, it all just ends up on you.
To catch a break, you watch everyone succeed, aka wasting time on YT, Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, Instagram etc. A good distraction is always welcome, but spending time mindlessly on these aren’t helping much, but only taking life away. Mind mysteriously called these your addiction to blame you further. But understanding that everyone is addicted to something helps a bit. May be addiction isn’t as damaging as portrayed. Addiction in itself isn’t a bad thing after all the outcomes define the negativity or the positivity.
While the rut isn’t the right place to be, it’s ok to be here for a while, as long as it takes. That’s where germination takes place; something new eventually comes out. You force yourself to rediscover yourself. While the end isn’t sight, getting to the bottom of the rut is the only way to get some clarity. Being grateful to what you have, helps with all this anxiety but may not offer a solution. It can make life a bit more pleasant than the grave picture mind paints. There is no fix, there is no quick exit, but patience and hope are the virtues that will make a difference.