I’ll say it over and over and over again; Smartphone’s are one of the best and worst things to ever happen to us. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Apple’s iPhone. It has revolutionized the way we interact with everything. But, just like alcohol or Internet porn, there‘s the inevitable ‘downside.’ On the one hand we have something that puts the entire world at our fingertips. On the other, our faces are buried in our phones as we crash our cars, trip over sidewalks and ignore our friends, family and signification others.
As a photographer, my iPhone has connected me with my clients in a way that was never possible, as well as kept me socially relevant in world were print ads and mailers just don’t cut it anymore. Unfortunately for me, just like for millions of others, the business ‘pro’s’ of having a smart phone are completely out weight by the social ‘con’s.’ What I think ‘iWatch’ and Apple will do, which is probably whats taking Apple so much time to develop, is revolutionize the way we interact with notifications. How many times a day does your phone vibrate or beep and at that moment, without thinking, you reach for it, unlock it, only to find out it’s a Candy Crush invite, or some other stupid notification you don’t really care about? Or, care to respond to. Or need to respond to. 50% of the time? 75%?
As human beings we crave information, like a two year old child, our brains are like sponges. Just like alcohol and Internet Porn, we can’t get enough it. Facebook, Twitter, the News, Instagram, Tumblr, Medium. We binge on information, because it’s there, not because it’s important. We binge on information, because it’s there, not because it’s important. I just want to know what shitty NFL team drafts Johnny Manziel, I don’t need to watch a video on it or read an article on how it all went down. Admiral Ackbar said it best, “It’s A Trap!” As of right now, the only way to get our notifications and information is open up our phones and go find it. And with that, your sucked into the whirlpool of shit that has you zoned out for the next 15 minuets. You get caught up in text conversations. You’re already in Facebook, so you mine as well browse your news feed. I wonder if they found MH370 yet? Better check the news, next thing you know your watching some video of Miley Cyrus twerking around a bunch of stuffed animals, having no idea how you go there.
I think iWatch will do for notifications what the iPad did for personal computing and the iPod did for music, and hopefully, bring us back in to the world that is slowly passing us by every second that we are in it. It will change the way we think about notifications. Instead of awkwardly and inappropriately reaching for your phone at dinner and spending twenty seconds seeing who texted you, you can glance at your wrist and decide to attend to it at a more appropriate time. I think it will change what it means to be social again, and I mean ‘social’ as in being in the ‘real world’ social.
I hate being on my phone, yet I’m always on it. Vacations. Dinner. Bedtime. Morning time. Work. Birthdays. Parties. The truth is I don’t need to be and I shouldn’t, but a lot of the time, a notification is what draws me to it in the first place. For get all the rumored health stuff that’s circulating about iWatch. Forget about about Siri integration. Notifications will be the game changer.