Taking Off My Apple Watch: Creating Boundaries with Technology

I sighed as my Apple watch vibrated, alerting me to a string of texts I hadn’t yet paid attention to. I was working and needed to finalize something rather quickly, but I was distracted because there were several PTO text messages I also needed to address. Later that evening, I was making a new recipe for dinner. I was trying to pay attention to the quantities of seasonings {no one wants too much coriander in their dinner} and wouldn’t you know it… I kept getting distracted by work emails on my watch. “This dang watch!” I yelled. That was the moment I knew my Apple watch and I needed some space.

Taking Off My Apple Watch: Creating Boundaries with TechnologyCreated for Efficiency 

Being connected is a good thing. Information is a good thing. Knowing your heart rate is a good thing. Checking the weather, getting news updates, and making sure you have moved enough are all good things. And it is amazing you can do all of this with a watch. When I received my Apple watch as a gift years ago, I never dreamed there would be a day I would take it off, and I didn’t for almost five years.

It was the first thing I reached for when I woke up. Heaven forbid the 24 steps from my bed to the bathroom not be counted toward my overall step goal. I lived for the moment when my watch congratulated me on closing all three movement rings {exercise minutes, standing goal, active calorie goal} each day. On the days I didn’t close all three rings I felt a little bit like a failure, and promised myself I would do better tomorrow. When the very rare occasion would pop up and I had to dress formally, I would strap on my gross silicon watch band and head out while my “nice” watches sat in my jewelry box. I was Apple’s dream customer.

My Apple Watch Not Serving Me Well Anymore

But now? Now I feel like my watch is nagging me. I find the reminders frustrating instead of helpful. When I want to focus on a particular project, I can’t as my wrist is constantly buzzing. When I’m spending time with a friend I truly enjoy I keep looking at my watch giving the impression I have somewhere better to be. In short, my Apple watch isn’t serving me well anymore.

I decided a Saturday would be the first day I didn’t wear my Apple watch. I put on another watch {that was completely dead and needed a new battery} and headed out for the day. I learned a few things. One, I did not die not knowing how many steps I walked that day. I walked a lot as I ran errands and had exercised that morning so I knew I had been active. Secondly, if I’m not going to wear my watch I am going to have to turn my phone’s sound on. I missed several key texts from my husband because I wasn’t getting buzzed on my wrist, but also didn’t hear a text ding. Oops! Lastly, I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would.

A New Plan

I still plan to wear my Apple watch, but have decided I won’t on the weekends which is when I spend most of the day with my children and am more likely to socialize with friends. And if I’m headed to a restaurant that doesn’t have a kids menu I’ll swap it out for a watch that looks like I haven’t sweated in it for five years straight.

And yes, I know that I could turn off certain notifications, but the issue is bigger than just setting boundaries with my watch which, by they way, feels ridiculous typing. The issue is that a thing that was created to bring efficiency to my life now causes disruption and it’s ok to set it aside. For me, this time it was a watch. For you maybe it is a phone, or social media, or even a friend. But evaluating what is or isn’t bringing us peace and then setting necessary boundaries is essential to motherhood and our peace.

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Sarah H. is a Texan through and through. Born in Waco and raised in Houston, she attended school at the University of Texas in Austin and now lives in Sugar Land with her husband, Jordan, and two children, Hudson {2012} and Lucy {2014}. After working in legal marketing and business development, she stayed home after the birth of her first child determined to be the perfect stay at home mom. Reality set in, expectations were lowered, and now her main goal is to get her children to school on time with clean teeth and hair. Sarah likes to work out, enjoys the arts and restaurants Houston offers, loves to read and dance, and is always on the lookout for the best patio or French 75 in town. A recovering perfectionist, she continually seeks more grace for herself and others.


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