Why on Earth would I want an iWatch?

More than a decade ago I left my wristwatch behind while I learned to access time on my cell phone. I never looked back. Not being bound to my watch offered a relief from a time bound schedule, or so I thought. As the abilities of the cell phone transitioned into a smart phone, time once again became an ever present reminder.

Wearable tech became popular with step tracking to then exercise monitors. Looking at my Fitbit offered incentive and reward for walking plus a time keeper. Once again I had a watch. When smart watches appeared on the tech market it was the last device I thought I needed. My Fitbit functioned well, except when I washed it. After three waterlogged Fitbits’ went by the wayside I decided a waterproof function would save me money. Enter the iWatch.

I researched many options for waterproof, but since I swim laps this seemed the best and least expensive option for under $300 and even at this price it is expensive. I took the plunge without looking back since. Besides the swim feature, which I love, I can shower, wash dishes, and submerge my iWatch without consequence. Since I am forgetful, this feature alone proved a worthy purchase. The other features, which I am still exploring, decrease stress, improve my health and offer me options to improve my life I never thought I needed.

1. Find my iPhone – A little phone button on the swipe up screen offers a loud signal to find my phone when I set it down somewhere and I cannot remember where. This feature alone saves me hours (and being late) wandering the house trying to find my phone. While simple, the feature alleviates a lot of stress for the absentminded professor (me).

2. Heart rate monitor – Two words: Thyroid issues. The heart rate monitor identifies high and low rates, even when sleeping. When the heart rate averages start to climb or drop over time I know it is a signal for a thyroid check. Oh, and it is good for exercise.

3. Sleep monitor – I became hooked to monitoring my sleep with my Fitbit. The iWatch brought this to a new level. Being a researcher, I love graphs of all kinds. The sleep tracking option helped me come to terms with my insomnia and accept it as normal for me.

4. Standland – I sit, a lot. Between counseling, writing, and teaching online I am always at my desk. I even own a standing desk, which would work better if I remembered to use it. This app reminds me to stand at 50 minutes to the hour between whatever times I choose. An added benefit is the reward of earning features within the game encouraging my agreement to stand.

Standland App – iPhone
5. Maps – This unexpected feature provided me with a gleeful surprise. If I put the address I want into the phone, before each turn my watch’s hepatic system (little vibrations on my wrist) alerts me I will be needing to turn. If you talk through your car phone system, listen to books/podcast or tend to be problem solving while driving this feature saves a lot of time with the recalculating GPS when you miss your turn. Needless to say, this app saves me enormous amounts of time.
6. Mindful and Calm Apps – These two apps provide hepatic reminders to be in the present and breathe. These tools enhance my mindfulness practices and lower my stress levels.
These apps represent only a few ways the iWatch enhances my life. For me the purchase creates new habits and reinforces positive behaviors. If you have one, how does it help you?

Written By Ellen Belluomini, LCSW

Why on Earth would I want an iWatch? was originally published @ Bridging the Digital Divide in Social Work Practice and has been syndicated with permission.

Photo by Brett Jordan


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