Smartwatch Etiquette

Stephen Hackett mentioned the social aspects of wearing a smartwatch that delivers notifications from your phone.

I also wear the Pebble smartwatch because I don’t always have my iPhone on me especially when I’m playing with the kids. I do like being able to get notifications but mostly if it’s from my wife or something else that might need my immediate attention.

There is a certain etiquette I feel when it comes to wearing (smart)watches and smartphones. There’s an unwritten rule where if someone wears a watch and glances at it while with another person or group, it’s considered rude because it intimates that you are bored, not interested in where you are, or you just need to be somewhere else. The same goes with a smartwatch that delivers notifications because it might seem like you’re checking the time and/or whatever is showing on your watch is more important than your conversation or meeting.

I remember when smartphones became more common and in meetings I would see people glancing at their smartphones either checking the time (because some people do that) or checking their smartphone for email, text, or whatever it was that demanded your attention away from the conversation or meeting.

I am not sure how the social aspects will change once smartwatches become commonplace. I have a feeling that it might not be as rude to check on your watch or phone in the near future. As someone who is in their late 30’s, I’ll still think of it as rude but perhaps the younger generation and my kids may not think so.