Smartwatches: The Age of Consumerism Continues

I just stumbled upon this article by Wired, where the writer had a revelation:

Instead of buying a smartwatch in order to fiddle with your phone less, we could have just bought and wear a normal wristwatch. You know, the one that has been around for ages and are reliable as fuck. Like the affordable Japanese (Seiko/Casio) ones.

There is absolutely no need to check your phone from time to time, and therefore you will less likely be sucked into opening up countless notifications and end up scrolling your day away.

Praise be to the lord !

It is no wonder because he has never wear any watches before, so even an ordinary wristwatch will be such a revelation. Sorry for the snarky comments :), but I do completely agree with the article.

Now allow to me digress just a bit,

I would like to share my view (or complaints) on the subject of smartwatches. And how in using smartwatches, we are just trading one screen for another ‘squintier’ one. That couldn’t be truer and it forms the basis of my argument.

Smartwatches are just another distraction and they are shitty at the end of the day. It has low battery capacity (which is a gargantuan problem) and countless others nuisance people have mentioned before. I may write it off too early; after all smartwatches have only see its early days. The iphones did not beat Blackberry right after it was born. The iphones had many drawbacks as well in its early days, but it improved and now lots of people use them. No doubt that smartwatches will get better as well, but smartwatches can never replace the ‘ordinary’ wristwatches in general. Smartwatches are just another product of tech consumerism. It’s the thing that will get chucked away when the next thing comes along, not cherished and worn for more than a generation.

The Titillating Milanese

I still remembered watching Apple’s presentation of apple watch, feeling in complete awe and how much I wanted to get one (I don’t have the money of course, but in the age of incessant consumerism, these kind of things make one always dream to just go and get them). It was enticing. The way the Milanese bracelet of the watch just got secured with a delightful ‘click’ was titillating. Apple is really the best at product presentation and I always watch their talks, admiring and trying to learn from them.

But now almost one year later, I am in a different position with regards to apple watch and smartwatches in general. Sure they could change the watch industry. Emphasis on ‘could’. But they won’t. Ordinary watches (mechanical or quartz) has been around longer than smartwatches. They will survive. Smartwatches (unless they can be water resistant and has the power to last a long, long time) will simply be a fad. A footnote in the history. And not even the great Apple can make any concept of smartwatches great.

Consumerist Pigs

Smartphones were born with the conception of iphones just a few years ago. And with that comes the age of incessant phone scrolling, people hunching over their phones at cafe, looking to self-absorbed and important to talk (or even look) to you. I argued in the other article that smartphones have made us worse and that we should reduce our time using it. But the fight against tech consumerism has not been easier. Tech companies come up with newer tech iterations, making people buy and buy and buy.

Smartphones are obviously better than ordinary phones. That was what Jobs said a few years ago. About how great their new iphones were. People then went to buy one smartphone after the other, all by the shitload.

Now, they say: why keep checking your phone for notifications? We have ‘one more thing’. Here are smartwatches. Now you can just glance through your notifications, and thus reducing the phone screen time.

They said one thing was good until another thing comes along and is definitely better. We just have to keep buying so as to keep up with the trends. We just have to keep spending money in order to be happy.

Technology is increasingly intruding (or shall I say invading) our daily life. It is true we are being increasingly dependent on tech. But up to what end? There is now talks of having smart car, smart home and I don’t know what else. Am I alone in finding this tech innovations getting a bit ridiculous? Am I too backward minded? I believe I’m not.

Tech is great. But yet current tech savvy generation are not happier than people of the previous generations that still use phones with cables and dial-ups for connecting to the internet (Remember those? haha). The younger generation’s social skills are decreasing. People are glued to their screens. We have to seriously question all the tech that intrude our lives. Do they make us better as a person? Do they improve our life? Can we live without them? These are the questions that we as customers have to think about whenever we were presented with the latest, most innovative gadgets in our hands.

Sure it looks great. Sure it is freaking cool. But will it make you happier?