Andy Ihnatko said something in this week’s episode of MacVoices that really got me thinking about my life as a technologist. The episode, linked to above, focused on the Apple Watch and similar smartwatches on the market.
Starting at 43:42 of the episode, Mr. Ihnatko starts talking about explaining technology to those that don’t understand it or have never used it. Here’s the best part, in my opinion:
The other analogy is the comparison to Graphical User Interfaces… You don’t realize how bad you had it until you get to try something different from [what you are used to].
-Andy Ihnatko, 45:11, MacVoices #14204: Adam Engst, Andy Ihnatko and Jason Snell on The Pebble and the Smartwatch Future
I find that this resonated with me because I was the person in my family and group of friends who was considered an early adopter and the question is always, “You have X, why do you need Y?” This question will undoubtedly come up again with the discussion of smartwatches. Why do you need a smartwatch when you have a phone, fitness tracker, normal watch, etc.? My answer is always contingent on the person asking the question understanding the capabilities of the device in question and/or the intricacies of the greater technological landscape in which this device finds itself.
Moving forward, my answer for technologies in their mass market infancy should probably be, “I’ll let you know when I have one.”
There is no better reason to not do something
There is no better reason to try
There is no better reason to fight
Against tyranny and strife
Removal is often the goal
Removal is often the challenge
Removal is often not enough
To completely fix what hangs in the balance
But it can bring about great change
But it can bring light
But it can bring great joys
In the darkness of the night
And so I live with friction
And so I live with what is hard
And so I live with what I love
But I stay upon my guard