Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Apple Watch & Your Judgmental Snobbery With Other People Using Technology

So I just got the new  Apple Watch. 

Verdict... it's OK. No homerun. No strike out, either. 

It's a fancy watch that links to my iPhone. It does stuff. Some stuff I want, some stuff I don't want. I can turn that stuff off. 

I own it now. It's mine. I like it OK. I have no plans to sell or return it. I also only just got it. I'm sure I'll learn more about it, and more apps will come out for it. I also know no one with it, and I can see that it will be more useful if I can communicate with other  Apple Watch users. My gut reaction, rather than some in-depth pro/con review about every feature is more important for me. My gut reaction says that it's OK. It's certainly not as necessary as a cell phone is. 

Technology is for individuals. Not for everyone. Each and every one of us needs to make choices about everything in life. What do we want to do? Where would we like to go? Who do we want to hang out with? What do we want to wear? All personal choices. Problems arise when people think they know what's better for others with the personal minutiae in other peoples lives. 

"People who like Apple are fanboys and suck!"

"Android users just don't get it!"
"Technology sucks and is ruining our lives."
"Books are better than tablets." 
"Humph! Look at that asshole with his phone out at dinner."

While I personally feel new technology needs to be navigated carefully and a good measure of etiquette needs to be exercised, I am more shocked by people who feel they know better and thumb their noses at other people they see simply because they are not doing things the way they would do them.

If you care that someone at another table is continually checking a cell phone at a restaurant, then you have a problem. If you see someone walking and texting and you are annoyed by that, you have a problem. If you see a family all checking phones, playing games, and buried in screens and you are annoyed, you have a problem. As long as other people are not being rude, driving while texting, or affecting those around them then the problem you have with them using technology is your problem, not theirs. What is the difference between someone sitting alone at a cafe looking at a tablet or a book? Maybe when the book first came out people hated them and wanted scrolls?

We need to stop worrying what others are doing and how we think it's bad just because it's not the way we would be. Society seems to be responsibly creating laws, where needed, to deal with dangerous situations that put the public at risk, like texting and driving. People seem to be getting the idea, though, that it's rude to interrupt others with technology--such as in a movie theater.

The gray area is when we see people caring more than we feel is normal about technology. If I saw someone knitting on a train or restaurant I might think it's a bit out of place, maybe. But I'd not think the person has a problem with knitting and should stop being obsessed.

The judgmental snobbery that many people have adopted for others' unobtrusive day-to-day technology use is entirely worrisome to me. Stop worrying that other people are not like you!

This all being said, if you want to be bothered less by your phone, get a  Watch. It might help you. So far, though, it has no app that will help you worry less about how your friends, acquaintances, and strangers use technology. 

If you think it's bullshit to add another device that will help you use your phone less, then fine. Don't buy it.