By JOSEPH TINTLE
Oh, boy, the new Apple Watch is here. It has apps for the weather, tracking our heartbeats, sending Instagrams, telling time, reading news, turning the watch into a canvas and color palette for painting, negotiating the aisles of the nearest Target store, and countless more meaningless activities to assure we no longer think for ourselves and lead a human existence. All with just the flick of the wrist or a light tap. And all for the basic price of $349 for the Apple Watch sports version to upward of $17,000 for the gold premium Apple Watch edition.
Now isn’t the Apple Watch just like the much less expensive iPhone in many ways? And don’t we need to have an iPhone in our pockets for the Apple Watch to work?
Stop right there. Let’s not rant on Apple. It is merely a company of smart people dreaming up smart toys for us to buy, to distract ourselves, and to make them billions of dollars. We’re the dummies.
What I don’t get is why we need to buy the smartwatch because it’s practically the same thing we’ve already got in our pockets. But because it makes us look like Dick Tracy talking on his wrist radio in the 1960 cartoon, some of us must have it.
I know a guy who has ordered the Apple Watch. I asked him why and he ran down the laundry list of apps I’ve already cited. And more.
“It has many of the same features as your iPhone,” I told him.
“You don’t get it, Joe, now I don’t have to take my cellphone out of my pocket.”
“That’s because you have to keep an iPhone in your pocket when you wear the watch?”
“Sure, otherwise the Apple Watch won’t work.”
So, let’s see, an Apple Watch and an iPhone: now you’re paying maybe a minimum of $500 to “stay connected.”
Did this guy ever study simple arithmetic?
So he will now join what I call the 2015 version of the Stepford Wives and stare at his wrist all day and get little to no work done. Then, when he crosses a street, he won’t even hear the peeling of car brakes that are being applied to avoid killing him as he glances at his wrist watch and ignores oncoming traffic. And, of course, he will have less communication with people. Might he even bring the Apple Watch to the bedroom? I can hear the pillow talk now.
“I’m just taking a quick glance at MLB, honey.”
Oddly all this technology is referred to as “the new forms of communication,” but has there been a time in recent history with a greater dearth of human interaction?
Long before the Apple Watch was conceived, I was standing on the corner of 34th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan waiting for the light to change. The woman next to me said, “Good morning. How are you?”
“Fine,” I replied.
“Thanks for last night.”
“Ah, what happened last night?” I said, turning to her.
Then I spotted her Bluetooth, the latest communication rage at the time.
So what might happen if millions of people buy the Apple Watch?
Teachers already have a tough time getting students to put away their cellphones during class. Wait until the children purchase an Apple Watch. Kids will only have to slightly turn their wrists to view whatever information they need. How uneducated will they soon become? And children are supposed to be our future!
People are already anticipating the next generation of the Apple Watch, and possible apps to change diapers or make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
The point: It’s time to become human again, folks.
Now, don’t toss away your Apple Watch if you already ordered one. Just don’t glance at it hundreds of times a day and forego a meaningful conversation. And please, don’t get struck by a car while crossing an intersection because you’re checking out Bruce Jenner’s latest surgery. And stop reading stupid Internet articles with titles like Why Russia and Costa Rica Cannot Co-exist, When Laughter Filled the Ottoman Empire, Salad Oil and Pus: Not a Good Mixture, and Twenty Reasons Why Vincent Van Gogh Did Not Cut Off His Other Ear.
Instead, read something meaningful.
Or just sit and think.
Perhaps contemplate a flower.
Or your navel.
Even better: pay attention to a loved one.
Remember, humanity got this far without excessive gadgetry. Want proof? Bill Gates and Steve Jobs grew up during a time when the world just used pencils, paper, and pens to communicate. So how did they single-handedly usher in our technological world?
They had time to think.