Arianna Huffington: Steve Jobs Wouldn't Have Invented Apple If Distracted By A Smartwatch

03/14/2015 11:53 am ET

Steve Jobs may not have led Apple to global dominance if he’d had the company’s new watch nettling him with notifications.

During a Friday night appearance on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington said the late Apple chief executive probably would have struggled to think up his groundbreaking technological innovations if he were distracted by texts, emails and social media updates all on his wrist.

“He never would have invented Apple,” Huffington said. “He said his best ideas came out of Zen meditation.”

Indeed, Jobs began regularly meditating in the months he spent in India after dropping out of Reed College. Back in the Bay Area, he met Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, and continued the practice.

“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is,” Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson. “If you try to calm it, it only makes things worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things -- that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present mind. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.”

Time to reflect and clear the mind is becoming increasingly rare.

“The iWatch is more problematic because we’ve reached the point where the shower is the only place we can be alone without a smartphone,” Huffington said, using the colloquial name used by many customers for the Apple Watch. “That’s why some of the best ideas come out of the shower. I bet any minute now the iWatch is going to be shower-proof; that’s going to be the end of that.”

Multitasking has gotten so bad that nearly 20 percent of young adults between ages 18 and 34 use smartphones during sex, according to a 2013 survey by Harris Interactive. Once a device is attached to the wrist, it’ll become even more tempting to glance at a screen during intercourse.

“They’re checking texts and emails during sex because, come on, sex by itself is too boring,” Huffington said. “Imagine, with the iWatch, it’ll be so much easier.”

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