Alexandru Huțu: Scratch

Yesterday I noticed a scratch on the display of my shiny, three-day-old Apple Watch. Yet another physical object I have burdened myself with; I do not regret purchasing this product, though, as I went through a moderately rational decision-making process which reached the conclusion that it would help me use my phone less, help me stay healthy and active, and facilitate things like payments and navigation through my new adoptive city.

I always try not to get attached to material things, but I undoubtedly have a hard time abstaining when I spend a significant amount of money on such a beautiful and well-crafted device. Therefore, when I noticed my brand new watch was scratched and it wasn’t just a smudge as I had initially hoped, the first emotion I felt was dismay—sadness, almost. My thoughts were racing; I was already thinking of returning the watch or fixing the “broken” screen myself somehow. But then it struck me. The watch is nothing more than a lifeless object. Granted, I paid good money for it. But that doesn’t change the fact that I should not allow it to cause me suffering or make my life even marginally harder. I bought it specifically to improve my life in some measure, haven’t I?

Having come to that realization, my panic subsided. Although Apple markets it as very personal object, the Watch is nothing more than a tool. A tool for telling time, a tool for keeping your phone in your pocket for longer, a tool for payments, a tool, a tool, a tool. A beautiful object too, but–fundamentally–a tool.

It will get scratched. It won’t be shiny and new forever. But that’s the beauty of it. That’s the beauty of life. Nothing is permanent, nothing is perfect. And objects only build personality when they wear out, when they get nicked or scuffed. I’m not thrilled that my watch got scratched, but I accept it. I embrace it, even. It’s mine now. I appreciate it for what it is, and I am not going to develop feelings towards it.