First notable observation was how quickly my iPhone battery ran down 'Did I really not use my phone as much before?'
It is crazy to think that an Apple Watch can reduce the usage of an iPhone, but on a very important positive far better for my eyes.
I definitely feel a degree of reassurance with my applewatch on, which was more accentuated by not wearing it, I constantly looked at my wrist as it wasn't there I took to looking at my iPhone afraid I’d miss the things I completely rely on my watch for.
I hated not getting notifications via prominent haptics.
As a result I was constantly revisiting my phone to check for notifications, and once my phone was open I checked everything which was both time consuming and wearing on my eyes and pretty unproductive!
The next negative, the most obvious one for somebody deafblind like myself was I found myself missing phone calls and text messages without the prominent haptics.
Although I was back and fourth checking social media when I could, whilst out and about with Unis (guidedog) my iPhone was packed away safely and of course, even with sounds on loud, in the busier areas I missed most notifications. I also find loud text tones quite disruptive wherever I am. When I wear my applewatch I've always had both phone and watch on silent and just trusted haptics, nothing better than being able to access what you need discreetly. As I didn't have my watch I turned to text tones as loud as possible,
this didn't make a difference out in public and irritated people close to me. On the odd occasion I did hear, however, the desire to take my phone out in public was not there, I don’t like risking my iPhone 6s plus in public, it is far too valuable to me, also I’m either working my guide dog or using a cane so my hands are not free and my lack of peripheral vision means I am not aware of my surroundings and so vulnerable.
Strange to think I felt so vulnerable without my applewatch. My confidence was definitely very low.
Not wearing my watch out and about also meant I just didn't feel reassured. Wearing my watch helped me face daily obstacles, such as getting in contact with someone using Siri, or using maps to get directions via Siri. Of course I could still use these functions but I’d have to hold my iPhone to do so. I’d imagine walking around with an expensive item like iPhone in hand could be asking for trouble whoever you are, more so for the vulnerable.
Not wearing my watch I found myself losing track of time, as a result out of routine.
I'm the sort of person who has to have a routine in order to function and function well on a daily basis. Without my calendars or other notifications keeping me up to speed I felt quite lethargic and a little disorientated and really feeling low.
Calendars was an application I’d chosen not to use on my iPhone but couldn't remember why until I decided to try a week without my applewatch. Then it all came back to me.
I find it quite busy and confusing at times. The white background and fairly smaller numbers despite zoom can confuse me very quickly. However applying dates via Siri, or occasionally applying on my iPhone whilst sat at my desk, these dates mirror onto my watch. On my watch I have calendars saved under 'glances,' meaning with one swipe up on my watch I can view with ease which events I've got on for the day/ following day.
This was really quite major for me as having not long set up my own company I have appointments and need to be organised as mobility is quite an issue when you have to rely on guide dog or cane, sometimes a guide and public transport, organisation is key to getting on.
On day one I missed four phone calls, day two six, two being call backs from the previous day - I felt totally stressed and thankfully my clients understood my dilemma.
I missed a delivery as I rely on my applewatch haptic for the Ring doorbell to notify me.
I was struggling to use calendars, I felt estranged from humanity and felt as though I was continuously playing catch up.
Stressed could possibly be an understatement by now.
I love music and as we all know music has the power to change mood, that’ll help I thought, however, I found myself not listening to music like I usually do. I guess the ease of accessing music was via my watch, I could flick with ease, and adjust volume with ease. Adjusting volume on an applewatch is done by scrolling the dial on the side of the face, nice and tactile so easy for me, whereas on the iPhone volume is a very thin line across the top of the screen that I could barely see. I had to adjust brightness first, and then scroll side to side to adjust volume, back to straining my eyes and fiddling about when out and about and it felt unsafe.
So music went by the by, it felt such an unnecessary faffing around having got used to what for me is the simplicity of applewatch.
After just a few days without music I noticed my mood changed dramatically. Life without music is rather dull.
My Linx2 hearing aids have enabled me to hear not just music but lyrics so well that I love closing my eyes and disappearing into sound, a relaxation I only discovered last year.
Most people I talk to who have applewatch including my parents, miss their watches if they forget them and for me it was horrible because I was leaving mine at home purposely, I hated the experience.
I choose to challenge myself so what did I learn?
Applewatch has become a habit to me!
I continuously looked at my wrist to check the time, to check lots of things.
I found myself looking so often that I missed it all the more.
I missed being able to check quickly for the haptic notifications, and I missed checking my activity goal, something that keeps me really motivated!
I actually felt disappointed in myself that I had not logged my activity even though I knew I had exercised as much as usual not seeing it made me question myself.
Speaking about Unis when we were out on her free runs I found myself struggling to hear her collar bells to know her location around me.
You may think what has that for to do with applewatch well here’s the thing, the app for my ReSound Linx2 hearing aids is on not just my iPhone but on my applewatch and I would simply adjust them on the watch to cut out wind and give me a greater ability to localise and hear whilst out and about, again although I had my iPhone with me I would not take it out in the woods.
Usually I love taking Unis on her free run and letting her enjoy herself but without being able to adjust my hearing aids I felt vulnerable I couldn't hear or see her. Unis is black and fades into the background so I have come to rely on the bells she wears on her collar and thankfully I can hear them with these awesome hearing aids but only if I can make the adjustments I need for outside.
This particular experience reminded me of how bad deafblindness can be without technology, I absolutely would not wish to venture out in total silence and darkness.
Technology really has made my world and technology needs to keep changing lives.
Disorientation was a consistent feeling without my watch, not only did looking at my wrist and seeing no watch or feeling no watch feel odd, but the strain on my eyes felt greater.
l felt more disorientated, whether it meant looking and scanning on my phone or just attempting to see my bare wrist.
I found myself straining a lot more without my watch. As you'll know I have 5 degrees vision in one eye that I try hard not to use, it's exhausting.
Using my iPhone more the past few days felt like a lot more straining even with the accessibility features enabled. In varying lights, especially out in the sun I found myself adjusting brightness a lot, and straining to see little icons to do so.
My eyes don't adjust well to any light change and in effect they had the same affect when continuously changing the brightness levels to suit the outdoor light. My eyes felt painful.
I remember not using Siri much when I first got my applewatch but having visited Apple Cupertino and speaking with a lady from the Siri team I started using it more and more and now I’m lost without it. Siri is very impressive on applewatch and not just of assistance but great for resting my eyes and avoiding eyestrain.
So, my week without my applewatch lasted 5 days and it was the longest 5 days ever and I won’t be reliving it again any time soon.
Thankfully my applewatch is back on my wrist just where it should be!