After mocking wearers of Apple watches not so long ago, citing an annoying interaction that took place in a nursing home lobby, I finally got one myself. I realize this makes me a hypocrite, and I’m completely okay with that.
Like Frodo Baggins before me, I’ve now become obsessed with the rings. If you don’t know what that means, you probably don’t have an Apple watch, and my heart swells with feelings of superiority and pity.
In their infinite wisdom, the geniuses at Apple created three icons to induce higher levels of activity and better fitness habits—Move, Exercise and Stand, represented by concentric circles. When the target for the day is finally met, a party breaks out on your wrist as the ring vibrates, spins and closes in an entrancing and addictive blur.
Why this works as a motivational device I have no idea, but it does. I watch for each ring to close like a rat waiting for a pellet. Several co-workers and I opted to share our progress with each other, so now we get notified whenever someone else closes a ring. This adds the elements of pressure and shame, the ultimate motivators.
Now that I’m so engrossed in tracking calories burned, work-out length and standing frequency, it makes me long for a watch ring for every other area of my life. So if you’re listening, creepy Apple people, and I know you always are, I have a few additional ring requests.
How about a Kindness ring that could detect true motives and give me credit for actions that truly come from the heart, or a Grace ring that tracked the times I give people the benefit of the doubt without judgment? How about a Courtesy ring, a Humble ring or a Positivity ring? A Gratefulness ring would help me remember the blessings I enjoy, and a Now ring would reward me for focusing on the present instead of beating myself up about the past or worrying about the future.
I’m also requesting a suite of additional rings for long-term care leaders. The Optimism ring would recognize the times you project a positive mindset while harboring secret thoughts of certain doom, and the Openness ring would light up whenever you communicate transparently and fully when it goes against every instinct to do so.
The Staffing ring would make sure you thank every employee every day for their loyalty and commitment, and beg them to stay. The PDPM ring would remind you that back in the olden days before COVID-19 there actually used to be other challenges, and the Survey ring would help you smile and hope for the best.
Obviously, to do all this, along with a host of other ring demands I haven’t yet considered, my Apple watch is going to need to look deep into my soul, read my thoughts and judge my motives. But it already spies on me while I sleep, hears every word I say, monitors my heartbeats and even reminds me to breathe, so how difficult can the rest of it be?
The danger is that with those new rings closing all the time, my wrist will be vibrating constantly and my eyes will melt from overstimulation. But no worries. When it gets too annoying, I’ll just walk to Mordor and throw it in the fire.
Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, a two-time national Silver Medalist and three-time regional Gold and Silver Medal winner in the Association of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) awards program, as well as an Award of Excellence honoree in the recent APEX 2020 Awards. He’s been amusing, inspiring, informing and sometimes befuddling long-term care readers worldwide since the end of a previous century. He is a writer and video producer for Consonus Healthcare Services in Portland, OR.