I've worn a smart watch for 4 yrs. At first I was on call and quick access to notifications was a huge bonus. Recently I've questioned its effect on me so today I switched back to a traditional watch as a test. This thread contains my observations.


1. I have checked my wrist frequently, sometimes only minutes apart, for notifications that aren't there. I almost never check to see the actual time.

2. While writing the previous post I literally checked my analog wristwatch to see if there was a response to my first post yet.

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3. Despite looking at my watch, if you had asked me what time it was, I couldn't have told you.

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4. I find myself looking at my wrist in the dark, even though this watch doesn't have a backlight.

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5. This first day with an analog watch has already revealed to me just how much a smart watch has created subconscious, compulsive habits. It's unnerving to see tech rewire your brain like that.

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6. I would use my smart watch timer app for my coffee, so I replaced it with a kitchen timer clipped to my French Press.

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7. Day Three. Still looking for phantom notifications on my watch, but I'm catching and stopping myself more often than not. The tell is when you look away from your watch without knowing the time. It's nice not having to charge my watch every night.

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8. I don't know precisely when it started, but I realized today that at some point during the weekend I stopped looking at my watch all the time for notifications that weren't there. I think I beat the habit.

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@kyle Also: people with smartwatches are telegraphing "you're boring, this is taking forever" to whoever they're in a conversation with every time they eye a notification.

@alrs @kyle they do it also with common analogue watches (i.e. how much longer i need to listen for this ...)

@kyle these are all the reasons I never got a smart watch and never plan to. I’ve spent the last two years trying pretty hard to reduce the amount of time I spend looking at any kind of screen. At the same time I want to maximize the potential for being able to solve challenging problems from ALL of my devices.

Here’s an interesting one to try: charge your phone in a different room while you sleep.

@ajmartinez Ya I've been charging my phone in another room for awhile (except for fire season when I wanted evac alerts to wake me up). But of course the watch charges on my nightstand and it will vibrate with certain types of notifications.

@kyle the first few times I did it was a real eye opener. The only time I keep it around is during hurricane season, or when someone’s in the hospital.

@kyle something is wrong with you :) I'm wearing my pebble for about the same time but I only check them when a) i need to check time b) it vibrates so i _may want_ (not *must*) to check what's there c) I want to use some of the apps (calendar, compass, weather) d) whether bluetooth is connected (eg do I have a phone with me or forgot it somewhere)

I've actually never used a timer for my French press. I've always gone by, "yeah, that feels like it's been long enough. "

@kyle How long do you steep coffee before you compress your French press?

@sbeebe Four minutes, which I think is considered the standard time by many people.

I've never worn a smart watch, but I've always had the problem of being able to look at a watch and then looking up and not being able to tell you the time.

@kyle I regularly wear a digital, non-smart watch when my smartwatch has run out of power before the end of the day. And this happens to me frequently: I hear a notification on my phone and then check my non-smart watch to see what it is.

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