Since December 2015, I have worn my Pebble Time Round smartwatch every single day of my life. The watch has improved my life in various ways, but it has also served up some negative side effects too. When people talk about smartwatches, they often don't discuss the practical downsides of wearing one. You get a lot of good out of it, but you get a lot of bad too.
1. Pro: Information is available with a glance at the wrist
Not only do you have the time easily accessible, but you can also have the weather, the date, your activity goals, calendar alerts, another time zone and more. For most alerts, I don't even have to pick up or unlock my phone. Answering or denying calls from my wrist will never get old. It's also great to receive news alerts that I can quickly scan while I'm working without having to stop and dig my phone out of my purse or backpack. My smartwatch has offered me great convenience with providing information quickly and effectively.
2. Con: Causes unnecessary distractions and annoyances
All that convenience can be annoying and distracting at times. Sometimes I don't want a million news alerts at once. Or the various alerts from my phone become even more distracting when they appear on my wrist. I've found myself getting even more distracted than I would have without my smartwatch. I could put my watch into "quiet time" mode, which silences alerts. But then I become even more distracted worrying I've missed something important. Smartwatches seem to only make FOMO worse.
3. Pro: Helps you track activity and sleep habits
One of the great features of a smartwatch is health tracking. Your watch will automatically track your steps and sleep. You can also see how many calories you've burned, your distance walked and even your light and restful phases of sleep, depending on your device. I personally love that I don't have to acquire an entire separate device just to get health data. With this information, I can better plan my exercise routine and keep myself on track to getting enough sleep each night.
4. Con: Makes you obsessed with hitting your step count goal
The downside of constant health tracking and streak rewards is that you feel obligated to hit your step count every single day. In theory, this isn't a bad thing. But some days you can't reasonably hit 10,000 steps. You really don't want to be going outside or pacing around your apartment when you're sick and should be resting. I also felt immense guilt on a day in which I moved a lot of boxes but barely made half of my step count. But numbers don't have to control your life or your mood. Now, I just view the total as a positive if I hit my goal and excuse my failure if there are extenuating circumstances.