©2021 Michael Raven
I’ve gone more the two weeks without a smartwatch around my wrist. Maybe closer to three. It was meant to be a small experiment when I decided that I was tired of having something on my wrist during both waking and sleep; I had no real intention of giving it up entirely. But now, it is sitting on the desk like it is challenging me.
I bet you can’t go much longer without wearing me, Michael.
I think it underestimates my stubbornness.
I can get mighty stubborn at times. As Robert Jordan wrote in The Wheel of Time series, some people might be inclined to say that I could school stones in how to be stubborn (I visibly nodded when I read that phrase). Especially when I feel like someone is challenging me on being stubborn. And I am fairly certain the watch is taking it upon itself to challenge me in this matter.
It is one of the nicer Fitbit Versa models from a few years ago. You know — the kind that measure your sleep, have changeable watch faces, measure your steps, use GPS to track your exercise, heartrate monitoring, has smartphone notifications on-screen and vibrations to let you know when you met certain goals, and whatnot. It was from back when I was trying to engineer my life to overcome the diabetes and lose weight.
At the time, it seemed essential for such things. In retrospect, I think it added to some of my troubles. I tracked my food intake to death, made sure I got to 10k steps like they recommend, monitored my weight loss (or not)… I became obsessed with personalized data. And I was never made happy about that.
Then, I started not finding value in such things because, honestly, most of it ended up being rubbish. Then it became a watch. And another constant reminder of how interconnected my life was, entangled with the internet, big data, work, emails and constant notifications for one thing or another. And it got in the way at times as well.
About two months ago, I went vibrate-only on my smartphone notifications — tired of the constant chatter from the various bells, boops, and whistles. And I shut off all but the most essential notifications (well, I’ll admit I left on WordPress notifications for interactions as well). That watch mocked me on my wrist and I decided… fuck you, watch. I don’t want to deal with you when I deal with security at the airport in January, and I’m tired of the vibrating and charging and notifications that I turn off, but magically get turned back on so you can tell me to get up an move. And, when I use my laptop, you annoy me, cutting into my wrist because of the way I handle my laptop.
So I took it off to charge it. A week went by. Then is seemed silly to leave it on the charger, so I turned it off, disconnected it, and put it on my working desk so it could stare at me, daring me to try and avoid putting it back on.
It doesn’t know. I am a stubborn S.O.B. Let it mock me and try to convince me to put it on, because my primary thought is not putting it back on, but trying to think of a way to set my smart phone down next to it.