Smartwatches are one of the most popular new accessories available today. They offer many different functionalities while still looking extremely sleek.
While there are undoubtedly benefits to using a smartwatch, there are some less known drawbacks. The distractions of smartwatches are a growing problem because they can be harder to ignore than a smartphone.
Smartwatches aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s important to learn how to adapt and develop better habits when wearing one. You should aim to reap all the advantages of a smartwatch while minimizing the downsides of wearing one.
This starts with knowing what the benefits and drawbacks are. We’ll cover those below so you can enjoy wearing your useful smartwatch!
Pro: Encourages a Healthy Lifestyle
Arguably the greatest benefit of a smartwatch is its ability to help promote a healthy lifestyle.
Smartwatches have several different apps and functions, but one of the underlying functions of most of them is to provide data related to health and fitness.
You can often track calories burned, steps walked, how long you’ve spent exercising, and how often you stand on a given day. All of these are effective at motivating you into staying active and keeping your numbers up.
Many smartwatches also include notifications and alerts reminding you to stay active. It’s one thing to know staying fit is important, but a dedicated device strapped to your wrist that keeps you in check adds another level of accountability.
Con: Fitness Data Isn’t Perfect
While smartwatches help motivate you to be healthy, the data they collect is not always perfectly accurate.
Something to keep in mind is that these devices are not individually calibrated for everyone wearing them. Instead, they’re designed to provide data on a widespread, one-size-fits-all basis.
Because of this, a smartwatch can’t provide you with accurate, individualized data that fully reflects your situation. This doesn’t mean that the number of calories you burn is completely wrong, but there’s certainly room for mistakes.
One study found that there was a 20% margin of error for calories burned recorded on smartwatches. This isn’t always the case, but don’t be surprised if your smartwatch is off by around 10% on the figures reported.
Another figure that tends to get improperly reported is heart rate. Smartwatches are meant to provide your heart rate at an exact moment, but oftentimes there is a delay and it isn’t always correct.
Factors can influence how accurately a heart rate is recorded, including skin perfusion, how well your watch fits, and how strong your pulse is. The figure you see shouldn’t be fully trusted, but it should instead serve as a guideline for how hard you’re working out.
Pro: Connectivity to Other Smart Devices
Another great feature of a smartwatch is its ability to connect to other smart devices.
Apple watches tend to be the best at doing this because they connect seamlessly with other Apple devices.
If you have an iPhone, Airpods, and any smart home gadgets, you can pair your watch with them to use as a controller and receive notifications.
Say you’re listening to music on your iPhone in another room. If you want to play the next song or change the volume, you can use your Apple watch to do that.
You can also respond to text messages, view push notifications, and even play music without the use of your phone.
A smartwatch is a smart device, which means having the ability to connect to other intelligent devices is a must!
Con: No Room for a Fashionable Watch
As useful as a smartwatch is, an important drawback is that it makes it difficult to wear another watch.
Watches have historically been an important fashion piece that often has significance attached to them. Perhaps you received a watch from your partner or maybe it was passed down from a parent.
Additionally, luxury watches have always been popular and look amazing. Imagine owning a Rolex that you won’t wear because of a smartwatch!
Regardless of what kind of regular watch you own, having a smartwatch makes it foolish to wear it.
Sure, you could have a watch on both wrists. Or you could even have two watches on the same wrist. While these are both possibilities, you’ll probably feel just as silly as you look and it will make your wrist feel heavy.
You’re likely to stick with the smartwatch once you become accustomed to its convenience, which will keep any nicer watches stuffed into a drawer.
Pro: Greater Access to Notifications
Smartwatches won’t fully replace your phone, but they serve as a nice way to stay in-the-know.
Just about any notification, you would get on your phone can get sent to your smartwatch. It isn’t always convenient to carry your phone around with you, but a smartwatch will inevitably follow you because it’s strapped to your wrist.
If you’re busy and can’t check your phone, you can take a quick look at your smartwatch instead to see what’s going on. Even better, you can often respond to these notifications directly on your smartwatch.
Con: Smartwatches Lead to Distracted Driving
While access to notifications is nice, the downside is that it can lead to distracted driving.
Smartphones have been the recent culprit for distracted driving, but the rising trend of smartwatches is making the chance of distraction greater.
You can put your phone in your glove box or the backseat, but that won’t do you much good if your wrist is buzzing and lighting up with a notification.
It isn’t common for smartwatch wearers to take it off before they start driving. While it is easy to do, the action doesn’t come naturally.
Consider setting your smartwatch to do-not-disturb before driving if you don’t want to take it off. Just like with smartphones, notifications are never important while you’re trying to focus on the road!
The advantages of a smartwatch are well known and it’s why they’re such a popular accessory that so many people wear today. Few people know about what the drawbacks are, so it’s important to know what to look out for.
The main benefits of a smartwatch include its ability to promote a healthy lifestyle, seamless connectivity to other smart devices, and convenient access to notifications.
On the other hand, a few important disadvantages include inaccurate fitness data, the inability to wear regular and luxury watches, and the chance of encouraging distracted driving.
While there are certainly pros and cons to wearing one, smartwatches are incredibly useful and the benefits tend to outweigh any negative consequences.
Just remember to be sharp about your smartwatch use and don’t let it distract you while driving!