Distractions and Tracking

Currently, there is a Fitbit Charge 3 on my wrist. For any of you who know me this should be shocking. I have been an Apple Watch user since it’s original release back in April of 2015. I love my Apple Watch, but recently, I’ve begun to feel that my dependence on screens, and the distractions from these screens has been affecting my focus. I’ve been making a conscious effort to use my phone less, deleting social media apps, delegating certain tasks to my iPad or Mac, and even sleeping with my phone in another room at night.

It’s helped. My screen time overall has gone down, but one screen has proven to be a continuous distraction. My Apple Watch. The thing about Apple’s wearable is that it infiltrates your life on a deeper level than your phone. It delivers you nuggets of information when your phone isn’t by your side, it tracks your activity, it gives you access to Siri all from your wrist. I tried turning off notifications for many of my apps on the watch. I tried changing watch faces so that I wasn’t presented with so much information all the time. It didn’t work. I found myself interacting with it sometimes for no reason at all. Honestly, the main reason I wanted the watch initially was to track my activity and be healthier.

Enter the Fitbit Charge 3. My Apple Watch, a Series 4 Stainless Steel Gold 44mm version, is stunning, but heavy and distracting. Instead of focusing on activity I was getting distracted by notifications and checking the weather constantly even though I’m almost always near a window. I would read text messages on it and reply, preview news articles to save for later on my phone and take endless ECG’s because I could. The activity portion had become secondary, almost non-existent. The activity complication (widget) ceased to exist on many of my watch faces replaced with a button for my Starbucks card or quick access to my calendar and reminders. What had become a device to supplement my phone was in some cases replacing it, which is in fact not necessarily a bad thing, but also, I could’ve just used my phone.

The Charge 3 is a very different device than the Apple Watch. Activity is it’s primary focus. There is no multi color OLED panel. There is no stainless steel chassis. There is no Siri. You can’t take phone calls or dictate text messages on it. It can deliver notifications from your phone but most of them are not actionable so it moves the interaction factor back to your phone. It tracks activity and sleep. Most importantly I don’t even notice it on my wrist, until it tells me it’s time to get my 250 steps in since I’ve been sitting for 50 minutes straight. It checks my heart rate constantly but can last 6 days on a single charge. I think it’s the device I need in my life right now. A device that isn’t trying to be everything. It’s just trying to be an activity tracker.

I’m only on day 2 with it, and I’m experiencing Apple Watch withdrawals for sure, but these feelings of missing my Apple Watch indicate to me that maybe I was a bit too attached to it and for the wrong reasons. My phone usage hasn’t increased in these 2 days which is interesting since I haven’t been interacting with my Apple Watch at all. I’ll be wearing the Charge 3 for the rest of the week and will evaluate if it’s staying or going, but so far, I think it’s been a healthy addition to my life. Updates to come!

-JNog

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