• Erin Maher

List: Smartphone Notifications that Would Actually Help Me

Because I already having breathing down pat

Every 30 minutes, my wrist buzzes, and my smartwatch lights up and commands me that it's time to breathe. And stand. And that I'm not standing enough. But that when I do stand, I should also breathe. And if I'm not breathing enough, standing might help. But wait! There goes my heart rate—time to breathe again.


And lest we forget about those notorious "activity rings". If you don't close them daily, you just immediately perish, right? Sometimes I think Apple is pushing it's own repentance on consumers in the form of the activity rings to keep its clients healthy, as it didn't have the technology to keep its founder alive. (Note: Yes, this is both dark and off-brand for me, but it's 2020, we must try new things.)


I was generously gifted a smartwatch in the middle of the COVID quarantine as a means to help me train for my newest hobby/form of self-flagellation: running. My watch tracks everything: my self- combustion level heart rate while I run, my 25-second pause as I squat in a bush because I hydrated too much pre-run (I'm a hydro homie for life), and my glacial pace.


Smartwatches were created as a helpful, do-it-all device for the overly-scheduled human. But in my eyes, they are nearly nothing more than a patronizing little pest programmed to keep you breathing and standing and absolutely neurotic at all times. I'm just an analog girl, stuck in a technologically-advanced world, and sick of my smartwatch.


Here are some notifications that would actually help me:


- A reminder that even though the doctor said that my chart says I have yet to get a flu shot, that in fact, I had gotten the flu shot five months earlier at a pharmacy, and it is not necessary to double up the dosage.


- That I am about to walk into a spider's web. Y'all know that feeling.


- To alert me that I'm being hit on (sometimes it's hard to tell).


- To alert me if I'm hitting on other people (because I'm much too friendly).


- To alert me that yet another person is going to offer me a referral code for HelloFresh. I am looking at you, suburban white women. Y'all push that code harder than El Chapo moving product.


- If there is a dog within a quarter-mile radius of me at any moment, looking for love and pats.


- To remind me why I walk into any room, as I usually forget why.


- To remind me to bring toilet paper to the bathroom, so I am not caught bare-bottomed, praying to the almighty powers that be to spare a square.


- To alert me if I'm about to send the screenshot of the conversation I just had with someone back to them instead of intended third parties. Mea culpa, my guy. It's always weird when you have to lie and say, "I've been using the Apple iOS system for eight years and oops, still don't know how to work this phone!"


- When my skin is about to go from "sunkissed" to "suburned", which usually happens to my pale ass after approximately 3.71 minutes outdoors, rain or shine.

- When a button is opened on my shirt. Turns out all the men I passed are not smiling at my remarkable beauty, but my bold choice of leopard-print lingerie that day.


- To alert me to the precise location of my eyeglasses after I have knocked them off the nightstand and cannot see a damn thing







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©2020 by Erin Maher