Unlucky in Raffle Draws

Freedom from Notification Anxiety

My Apple Watch broke and I am never looking back.

Freedom from Notification Anxiety
Photo by Simon Daoudi / Unsplash

I used to wear an Apple Watch ever since I bought it in 2019. Its display split wide open in June 2020, replaced with a refurbished unit in July, and wore that since March of this year.

I was that deep into the ecosystem that I kept using that watch until it died and refused to turn on or get charged.

The watch gave me so many conveniences through the three years I used it. I never missed a text or a call because my Apple Watch just vibrates it for me. I always put my phone on silent so there's a huge tendency of me missing any texts, but the watch was a good supplement to my need to keep my phone quiet all the time.

I also find the watch useful when receiving notifications for two-factor authentication. My line of work requires me to connect to different VPNs or cloud portals that requires an additional one-time PIN to make the authentication process more difficult to get hacked. There were authenticator apps that instead of asking you to enter the PIN it generates, it will just ask you to either allow or reject an authentication attempt. With my Apple Watch I would get that notification and just tap Allow from there and I am in.

I also loved the fact that I can complete workouts with the Apple Watch and managed to complete its fitness rings (stand, move and workout) for four straight months before it first broke in June 2020. It's kind of encouraging to see how much progress I have made to make myself fitter and I feel like it's a waste if I stop working out now.

But while the watch gave me so much convenience, sadly it also pained me so much. The past 2020 and 2021 were the most difficult years for me because my work deprived me of my personal time. Somehow the lockdown was made as an excuse from higher ups to refuse people to go on leave - you're not going anywhere, so why take holidays anyway?

But what's more horrifying is that the Apple Watch also supplemented the stress those years brought to my life. Every Slack notification goes to my watch even if I am already done for the day. It's like there's no offline mode, and I hate it. I used to like my job so much, and now I feel like I am trapped and it triggers my anxiety in so many ways. I would get a call from a manager even after I worked for 24 hours straight, or from a colleague who doesn't have anyone to go to because he's stuck with what he's supposed to do.

I am glad that period is over, but I am glad that my watch died last March. I am back to using my trusty mechanical watch and I may never go back again. I don't need to charge this everyday, and I can finally have an excuse if my phone rang and I am nowhere near to answer it.

And now I am free.

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Jamie Larson