I have a confession to make. I got an iWatch, or Apple Watch, if you prefer that name.
I know, I know.
I know what you are thinking right now.
“Aren’t you the guy that is always preaching about not being glued to your smart phone? Aren’t you the guy always asking me if I can live without the smart phone for a week, or just a day, or even five minutes?”
“And aren’t you the guy who wrote about having a party-line phone when you were a kid, and not being allowed to ever use it? And aren’t you the guy who wrote about living in a dorm at Bethany College with no phone in your room, so you never made hardly any calls?”
Yes, yes, I am that guy and I am still that guy. I think.
“But, now you got this iWatch which is just a smart phone on your wrist? What kind of hypocrite are you?”
Well, in my defense, I did not go out and buy myself an Apple Watch. My kids bought it for me for Christmas. And even they said they weren’t sure I would like it or if I would just toss it in the trash.
And, the jury is still out about whether I like it or not, but I’m leaning towards liking it. Maybe.
In case you wonder, it is indeed a smart phone on your wrist. How in the heck they got all that smart phone stuff in a tiny wrist watch is far beyond my engineering ability to figure it out. I am in total amazement that it could be done, and I wonder why everyone is not amazed by that. Young people just expect things like this to be possible.
I can check my email and text messages, even answer them, run every app on my watch that is on my phone, plus a bunch of things that are not, and yes, make calls and answer calls right on my watch.
I call it my Dick Tracy watch. That reference is lost on many young folks.
Dick Tracy was a comic strip police detective character in newspapers that was created back in the 1930s. In the 1940s he started wearing and using a two-way radio watch on his wrist.
Dick Tracy was still around when I was a kid in the 1950s and 1960s, and a toy company back then made a Dick Tracy two-way radio watch which I wanted, but I never got one.
And, now I do have one.
When I talk to someone on the Apple Watch, I realize I am wearing it on the same wrist Dick Tracy had his on, and I hold it in the same position.
This smart watch does a lot, and I will readily admit I probably don’t know half of all the things it can do.
Some of the things are a little creepy, however. For instance, it knows the temperature and weather conditions anywhere I am and lists them on the clock face at all times. It alerts me when I get a text, or a news update or a tweet or even when someone is at my front door.
It can tell me my heart rate at any time I want to check it. That is fairly important to someone who has had a heart attack.
But it also seems to know what I am doing. It tells me to stand up if I have been sitting too long. It congratulates me for getting up and moving around when I do.
The other day I went for a walk and the watch started measuring the distance I went and the amount of time I was out walking, without my asking it to do so. Then congratulated me for going on a walk. And yet, it does not do that when I am just walking around the house or out in the yard.
And then there was a day not too long ago when I went out to check the mail and slipped a little on my icy front steps. My watch started sounding an alarm and said, “It appears you may have suffered a fall.” No, I told it, I did not fall, I only slipped a little.
“Do you need me to call 911 for you?” it asked. No, I yelled in a panic, envisioning police cars, fire trucks and ambulances showing up at my house. I only slipped a little, I screamed, I did not fall, and I am just fine. Do not call 911 you idiot.
I can only imagine that if there would have happened to have been someone walking by my house at that moment, that they would have thought I was yelling at them, and calling them an idiot.
I quickly looked around and luckily, no one was walking by.
The whole thing reminded me of the “I, Robot” movie where the robot tells Will Smith, “You are experiencing an accident.”
So, the jury is still out on whether my new watch and I are going to get along. It seems to be a bit bossy at times.
The big question is whether I will take it with me when I go camping this summer. I usually keep the smart phone in the car or camper. But maybe when I am out hiking or kayaking by myself, I might actually fall and get injured and need assistance and the watch could dial 911 for me.
Or maybe it could call Dick Tracy for help instead.