I’m not being a Luddite here when I say that the Apple Watch could be the killer app in social – as in being the thing that kills our ability to be social beings.
I’ve followed the developments of the smart watch for more than a year now, and have even talked to students and many others about it. I come at these ‘smart’ devices from this angle: Like all things in technology, whether or not we need the product of service, whether or not we approve of the trend, it’s important to stay tuned to what dimension is opens up. Technology seldom turns out to be what it started off as.
- Facebook is less and less about making friends. It is now all about gathering and sharing data, and you are its accomplice.
- Twitter did the classic pivot, from being a neat way to bypass the clunky Internet and stay in touch with a few, to turn into a one-to-many engine.
- Quora (I’m not sure how many of you you still use it) began as a great community, but is also a search engine.
- Instagram was once a terrific creative space until the selfie-obsessed discovered it
As for the Apple Watch, it opens up a new solution to the ‘stop staring at your phone’ problem. But just because it reduces the number of times someone will take a phone out of his/her pocket, it could start a whole new trend. Siri users, for instance will find it irresistible.
My comments to the story on TechCrunnch was that there’s a boon and a dark side. We hear that the best ideas are formed when we are offline.
To which I came this comment: “A big benefit of wearables is the sensors, don’t have to use it for notifications. Not that it will stop people engaging in info overload if it’s readily available.” The point is well taken, Michael Mahemoff. But I am glad you mentioned information overload.
Mind the ‘gaps’ – This is the perfect time to introduce Michael Powers (“Hamlet’s Blackberry“) who wrote extensively on this. He makes a great observation of “the gap” we need between utilitarian devices and the best uses we put them to. If you pile on screen experiences, says Powers, “there are no gaps in your connectedness (and) you never get to that place where the most valuable benefits are.”
I love the look and the convenience of a smart watch, but I don’t welcome it. I don’t think you need to be pro something and therefore against its disruptor.I adapted to an ebook reader, yet will always read and buy books made of atoms.
But just like Google Glass this is one wearable I will skip because if only because it eliminates the ‘gaps’ I am not willing to give up.
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