Apple Watch

The cover story of this week’s Time magazine, by Lev Grossman and Matt Vella, contains some powerful and chilling commentary on Apple’s new roll out. Here are three key paragraphs to consider before buying this latest new thing.

“It’s intoxicating and also a bit disconcerting to have this much functionality perching on your wrist, like one of Cinderella’s helpful bluebirds. Wearables get inside your personal bubble. We’re used to technology being safely Other, but the Apple Watch wants to snuggle up and become part of your Self. This is technology, after being repeatedly repulsed, finally establishing a new beachhead. To wear a device as powerful as the Apple Watch makes you ever so slightly posthuman.”

“This is new and slightly unnerving. When technologies get adopted as fast as we tend to adopt Apple’s products, there are always unintended consequences. When the iPhone came out it was praised as a design and engineering marvel, because it is one, but no one understood what it would be like to have it in our lives. Nobody anticipated the way iPhones exert a constant gravitational tug on our attention. Do I have email? What’s happening on Twitter? Could I get away with playing Tiny Wings at this meeting? When you’re carrying a smartphone, your attention is never entirely undivided.”

“The reality of living with an iPhone, or any smart, connected mobile device, is that it makes reality feel just that little bit less real. One gets overconnected, to the point where one is apt to pay attention to the thoughts and opinions of distant anonymous strangers over those of loved ones who are in the same room. One forgets how to be alone and undistracted. Ironically enough experiences don’t feel fully real till you’ve used your phone to make them virtual–tweeted them or tumbled them or Instagrammed them or YouTubed them–and the world has congratulated you for doing so.”

3 Comments

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  1. Reminds me of “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Postman. That guy was way ahead of his time. But how do you propose that Christians respond to the onslaught of technology? So tricky to balance tech.

  2. Don… My two cents: I think the answer has to go back to deep reflection on what our calling is in life then an evaluation of whether technology is helping or hindering us in that calling and in what ways. Then mercilessly cut technology we don’t need and work really hard at customizing what we do use in ways that eliminate their downside (e.g. SafeEyes & Productivity Blocking Software that blocks specific sites during specific hours – e.g. Youtube, ESPN, etc. during the workday)

    My gut feel from my experience and observing others is that a lot of tech use is driven by coolness, convenience, and apparent marginal gains in productivity but that productivity is drowned out by the amount of time wasted using it / distraction from our primary callings. I think we could stand to chuck a lot of tech from our personal lives. My two cents.

  3. i read this and i find it very interesting. it also makes me think a lot. love you uncle mike!🙂

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