16 March 2015Clayton Morris:
Apple Watch won’t save us from shitty behavior but it will limit our distractions. Think of the Watch as a seive through which only the most relevant information lands on your wrist. Your interaction with that information is also whittled to nearly a few contact points: read, respond, or reachout.
The overwhelming attitude I’ve seen in the past few days is that the tech community treat notifications as a social bad, that people hate consistent alerts and buzzes. As Clayton describes it, for this group of people, the Watch can act as a ‘sieve’ to help prioritise and sort what’s important.
That’s fine. In addition, however, I think there’s another group of people who have been overlooked in commentary about smartwatches. These people love notifications and lap up new ways of staying ‘tuned in’ to their friends and the world. From secondary school through to university, I have never seen someone get annoyed at the number of times their phone is buzzing for attention. These people want to be able to respond even faster than they already can. For these people — I would guess people of this class are typically of the younger generations — getting notifications isn’t a frustration but an addiction.
What’s genius about the Watch is that it can serve both groups of people well. For people like Clayton Morris, it can be an intermediary filter to let only significant things through. For others, it can be used as a second screen, a medium that can keep them even more connected.