Apple Watch: The most anxiety-inducing device ever?

“Before Quartz, I never tended to be someone who bought the first generation of a new product. I usually waited until the kinks were worked out and picked up the second version,” Mike Murphy writes for Quartz. “But something about the Apple Watch, something that dated back to some of my earliest pop culture memories of watching Dick Tracy with his video watch, or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with their Turtle Comms, made me feel like Apple was releasing a piece of technology that was something I’ve been waiting for my entire life. Something that felt like the future.”

“So I bought one, and for a few months I loved it. I loved the immediacy of knowing everything as soon as it happened, I loved the activity-monitoring features, and I loved sending exceedingly garbled messages via Siri without having to open my phone,” Murphy writes. “But closing in on a year, I started to become disillusioned with the device to the point where I thought about taking it off — even though I’d spent $350 on it, and far too much on extra watch straps in different colors.”

“But before I could decide, I started getting dizzy,” Murphy writes. “I should probably mention that I have a heart condition… The Apple Watch is the most anxiety-inducing piece of technology I’ve ever owned. It’s a reminder that a worry is like a notification, which left unchecked, can consume you. For me, it was the heart rate, and a fear that I was neglecting my mortality, the duty to my parents and the doctors who saved my life when I was two years old by not ensuring that I was doing all I could to keep on living. The heart monitor and the watch itself made me feel like a bad son and lazy person and not a hard-enough worker with the constant reminders that I wasn’t moving enough, answering enough messages, or being present.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Beyond Murphy’s rather specific heart issue and OCD checking of his heart rate, you control the Notifications your Apple Watch receives. Right on down to zero notifications, if that’s what you desire.

A properly set-up Apple Watch is not “anxiety-inducing,” it’s actually unbelievably freeing. While the rest of the world is glued to their phones, constantly fishing them out of pockets and purses and back in, hundreds of times per day, laying them on dining tables so they “don’t miss anything,” etc., Apple Watch users simply go about their lives, with their heads up and their eyes looking ahead — like normal people used to do prior to June 2007 — only looking at their iPhones when they’ve determined (via their Apple Watch) that they need to.


  1. I couldn’t agree more with MDN’s take. Mr. Murphy’s anxiety has more to do with the type of person he is and less to do with the Apple watch. Counseling is recommended. If successful, he could keep his watch.

  2. MDN great job on your take. I usually have some disagreement with them. This one was perfect.

    My simple answer when people ask me about my AW is “it’s a cross between a Casio and a Swatch. The 80’s meets the future.”

  3. Ask yourself this when you think of distractions:
    IF you have an Apple watch and a regular old watch, which during the course of the day would you look at more?

    The Apple was IS a distraction and if you think not, or tend to make excuses for it, then you are in denial.

    1. If you set no to notifications, I would assume you wouldn’t check it any more than a “regular old watch.” Of course it can be a distraction. But you are in total control of how often it taps you, so it’s not the watch, it’s the user that’s responsible for that. The watch is an object which just sits on your wrist unless you set it to sent you a notification. Don’t blame the watch, blame the user.

      I know your life revolves around criticizing Apple, but in this case, you really have to absolve the user of any responsibility to come up with something.

      1. Yeah, Yeah. I get it. But, you are blind. IT is a distraction no matter how much you turn it off (why have it then?) and don’t pretend you know about my life, since you obviously don’t or haven’t been on this board long enough to know or care…or you wouldn’t have made that snarky comment.

        1. Mine is never a distraction, always a benefit. No anxiety about it whatsoever. It has only added positively and delightfully to my life, not taken away, You are equally blind, or just a little too one-sided. It’s not an extreme position or one conclusion argument you or anyone has to take. Different strokes.

  4. I’ve had my Apple Watch almost a year and I’ll never be without it.

    It’s tuned to the way I want it, no sound at all just haptic feedback and only notifications for iMessage/SMS, WhatsApp, Instagram and phone calls. Everything else is muted.

    I also dropped £169 on a black Milanese Loop, which has basically made it my most favourite piece of design I’ve ever owned.

  5. Its not anxiety he is feeling, it’s guilt which he is normally able to defer by not thinking about his medical condition. He should thank Apple for the Watch’s gentle prodding of his conscience.

  6. I absolutly love my Apple watch……i get anxiety when i forget to wear it !

    And re “exceedingly garbled messages through siri…..” Bull….. Dont ask me why , but siri/ dictation on the watch are much much more accurate on the watch than my phone…
    Its fantastic.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.