Apple loves to highlight the Watch’s health benefits. Here’s what they don’t tell you: the Watch is a sassy bitch.
I’ve wrapped up a 10km run and had a friend respond with “🆒🆒🆒”. Nothing about that is sincere. One 🆒 is dismissive. Two 🆒s is fine. Three borders on callous. I’ve gone on long walks and had someone say “Thanks for the low bar!” The exclamation point just adds insult to injury.
These are the Watch’s quick replies, preprogrammed possible responses to messages and notifications. They’re usually normal things like “Thanks” or “Can’t talk now”.
Expect when you’re responding to Activity notifications. Then they’re… different.
I’ve responded to countless of my friends’ accomplishments – from 50km bike rides to two-hour gym sessions to all manner of the awards Apple doles out for activities – with “That’s a ripsnorter”.
I don’t even know what a ripsnorter is. But it sounds sarcastic to me. And I love it.
Part of it is cultural. My friends are loving and caring people. But they also know the value of good banter. And Australia has a tendency to cut down tall poppies. What might, to American programmers, read as a sincere celebration of someone’s accomplishment can come across as an ironic eye-roll to me.
Intimacy and insults
The Apple Watch can be an intimate device. When it was announced, Apple highlighted a feature that lets you send your heartbeat or animated kisses to someone with a tap. I don’t know anyone who’s used them. They’re cloying and impersonal. They kind of thing a third-party would think is personal but, because of that, it seems distant and abstract. They’re a Hallmark card with a bad poem.
But the Watch is still a shortcut to your iPhone – likely the most personal bit of tech you have – and, through that, a quick link to all your loved ones. And it lets you share the kind of things nothing else does: your exercise. And, let’s be real, exercise can suck. It’s hard; it’s gruelling. It’s an accomplishment. But it’s made all the easier when you’re doing it with someone
I know what my friends are trying to achieve. Some of them want to lose weight, some of them are working their way back from injury, some of them are trying to tire out incredibly energetic dogs.
Sharing that journey with them? Getting to following along with them through little notifications and responses throughout the day? That’s intimacy. That’s personal.
Even if it comes in the form of a little “fuck you” sent with love.
It’s a real ripsnorter.