Why in the Age of Fitbit I Would Want a “Dumb” Watch

Toward the end of last year, I became pretty well obsessed with the idea of owning a watch. I hadn’t owned one since I was in high school (when the cell phone was introduced into my life), and I hadn’t felt I needed one. Suddenly, now that I’m in my 30’s,  a watch was top of my Christmas list. And no, not the (still) much-anticipated Apple Watch. Not even the cool fitness tracker/watch combo recently released by Fitbit. I wanted a regular old watch that did regular old watch functions.

Why would I “settle” for a “dumb” watch when there are so many more techy and cool options out there? Am I becoming “old fashioned?” Probably. And at the risk of showing it, here are the reasons why I chose to avoid the cool kids in the watch department and head for the straight timepieces:

  1. I already own a cell phone. I’ll start with the main reason why I didn’t want a smart watch (other than the price): I feel I don’t need one. Yes, it would be neat to have messages come in on my watch, which is strapped to my body, without having to pull out the cell phone (as cumbersome as that action is). For about a day. And then those messages would be as welcome as they’ve become on my actual cell phone. It would also feed in to the already abused notion that we are always available. If I’m out for a run (even if it’s the Starbucks variety), I don’t need to jump the moment every new email comes in. I do that already, which is why I’ve stopped pulling out my cell phone to see what time it is in the first place.
  2. I need to be ready for anything. In addition to working full time, I’m also a stay at home mom. I really need to be ready for anything. Apple Watches and Fitbits boast tons of on-screen features, but what I really need to be ready for is for my new timepiece to get banged against a brick wall or submerged completely in water. I don’t need another accessory to remember to “baby” while I’m chasing after my own baby preschooler. I need something I don’t have to think about before diving into the community pool after her.
  3. I need to disconnect. I touched on this in my first reason, but it’s strong enough to stand on it’s own as well. Pulling out my cell phone to check the time is just an invitation into distraction, and I spend enough time distracted. Plus, as I said earlier, the notion that we are always available is widely abused. I don’t need to be available more often to more people. I need to be present with who I’m available to now.
  4. I need something affordable, and affordable to replace. Fact is, I need something that I don’t mind taking a bit of a beating. And should something happen to it? I don’t need to work a new timepiece into my savings plan to replace it when the inevitable happens. There are enough things in my life that fall into that category.
  5. Basic watch functions are all I truly need. I’ve done the workout-tracking thing. Manually. And yes, it is motivating to have a written account of what you are actually doing, but is that a big enough pull to look in a whole new category, and at a whole new price point? Nope. What I needed was simple: a wearable clock with an alarm that could get wet. Anything beyond that was extra, and extra I was not willing to pay more just to get.

So, what I’d get?

In the end, I went on Amazon and grabbed a Timex Ironman. It has some sporty features and (manual) tracking capabilities, but the biggest draw was that it can be worn up to 100 meters underwater. They call it a “triathlon” watch and, as any parent can attest, we pretty much finish one of those every day keeping up with our offspring. Perfect.

Shared Links for Jan. 12-16

Every week, I like to compile all the links I’ve shared for various reasons to various people and post them in one place. In case you missed it this week, here’s what I’ve been sharing around:

Forget the Resolutions, I’m Evolving

Last year, as I watched the infamous ball drop in Times Square from the comfort of my living room, I didn’t even think about declaring a resolution to start the new year. In years past, I always had several. I coveted the idea of making promises for self-improvement to start the new year. But, this time around, I was over it.

And no, it’s not because I can’t keep my resolutions (although, that’s usually true).

This year, I’ve decided to just allow myself to evolve without the pressure of declaring specific goals. Of course there are things I would like to improve over the course of the next year (or two, or three, or ten) personally and professionally, but in 2014 I felt I did a much better job than other years in actually putting in the work toward those goals. To make the declaration at the start of 2015 would feel like a step backward. The journey has already begun. At this stage, I find it more important to continue to look forward rather than where I’m starting from.

It’s a mental shift more than anything, but a shift that I feel both good about and that is important to my eventual success. Approaching my “resolutions” as an ongoing process, instead of a cut and dry start of something fresh, will allow me to not see failure in the eventual road blocks. I won’t be “breaking” my resolution, but rather can focus on what I can do differently next time to continue to work toward my goals.

For the first time in, well ever, I’m actually excited to see what can happen this year in terms of self-improvement. The pressure is off. And that feels like a much more hopeful and optimistic way to start something new, like a new year, at least for me. It feels good. It feels right.

It’s going to be a great year!