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The sad reason many people love their Apple Watch

Technically Incorrect: The more I listen to Watch users, the more they tell me the same thing.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Here was Curtis Sparrer is his early, less subtle days with the Apple Watch.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I've spent a year without an Apple Watch.

It hasn't been difficult.

My wrist feels free. I never have to twist it around to check the time. I never have to remember to charge it overnight.

I know quite a few people who bought one, however. I know quite a few who really, really like it.

Over the weekend, I encountered a winemaker in Sonoma, California, who was quite giddy about her wristy device.

When I asked why, she gave me a version of the same tale I've heard many times over the past year.

"It makes me feel more polite," she said.

She said that when she used to pull out her phone all the time, she felt she was being just slightly insulting.

Now, she merely flicks her eyes to her wrist and all is well.

I first heard this explanation from PR man Curtis Sparrer, whom I spotted looking frightfully absurd taking a call in a restaurant, shortly after the watch came out.

It's more discreet, he explained.

The idea of a PR man being discreet or even knowing what it means is delicious. Sparrer insists that the watch made him feel better.

If you're in a meeting, he explained, your wrist can be subtly (oh surely not) placed on the table and only your eyes have to shift from the fascination of what's being said.

I don't wish to besmirch these people's intentions. They surely have at least a tinge of altruism -- as well as a dose of self-image management -- in their hearts.

How many tech products, though, feature the reduction of shame as one of their finest attributes?

These Apple Watch wearers were ashamed of how often they pulled out their phones, how often they placed them on tables and how they continually glanced at or tapped them.

They feel they're now being more subtle.

But aren't we all attuned to every moment that others aren't paying attention? Whether they pull phones out or merely strategically position their wrists and flick their eyes in their wrist's direction, everyone else can see, can't they?

Don't we always know a vacant stare when we see one?

There again, the modern style of bodies and minds meeting is very different from the pre-iPhone era.

People sit in meetings with laptops in front of them and talk over the top of them. They go to dinner, place their phones on the table and pick them up at least every five minutes to see whether something vital has happened in the(ir) world.

Does the Apple Watch really make it better? Or will it finally destroy any concept we have of eye contact?

After all, if you think you're being subtle, your eyes will wander more and more toward your device.

That is until you don't notice that your dinner companion has left the table. She got a notification on her watch about another date waiting in the bar.