iWatch by Brett Jordan, CC BY 2.0

Apple’s new iWatch, expected to hit markets early in 2015, advances time keeping to a whole new level. Not only does the iWatch keep accurate global time, automatically adjusting to different time zones via satellite, it also tracks daily fitness and provides a way to respond to messages, calls and notifications more easily than we already can. Offering features similar to a smartphone, the iWatch stands to revolutionize the ability to connect with others on a timely basis. Reality is, the iWatch may even take the place of  phones when everything you need is literally “strapped” to your wrist.  Although this gadget will surely be a hot commodity when it hits markets, from an ethical standpoint, one may question the role technology ought to play in human life?  Will the iWatch consequently distract people from partaking in meaningful conversations and being present in the moment?

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In Professor Nichols-Pethick’s Media, Culture, and Society class, these questions where further explored. As technology continues to evolve and advance the way we live, one cannot deny the positives that have surfaced. In fast-paced daily lives, people can easily stay in touch and communicate with each other on the go. The iWatch would surely improve this efficient communication. When you find yourself with a strong urge to send a text or check an email, you will not have to rudely take out your phone anymore. You can appear focused and tuned in while doing your own thing via the iWatch.

However, there are undoubtedly drawbacks. While on the one hand, the iWatch  is convenient and trendy, it is also a troubling innovation. The iWatch fastened tight to your wrist, quite literally, becomes a part of you and makes it increasingly hard to be “off the gird.” Wearing the iWatch will serve as a constant reminder that you are always connected. It might become even harder to escape than a phone or computer because it is literally fastened to your person. Alone time could become a thing of the past. Even more unsettling, a special new feature allows the iWatch to offer “human like taps” as an alternative way to connect with others. Technology seems to be creating ways to embody human interactions.

Although we cannot prevent new technology from being created, we can become more aware of what we might be losing as a result to these technological advances. Efficiency is tempting in our fast paced lives, but keeping tangible relationships with those we care about is more important. Humans should strive to step out from behind the screens of phones, computers and soon to be iWatches, and experience life first hand through meaningful relationships and face-to-face conversations.