Posted tagged ‘watches’

The future of time

October 19, 2010

Recently I was talking with a group of students, and I noticed none of them was wearing a wrist watch. This became particularly obvious when one of them, who had told me he would be leaving shortly because he was due to go to a lecture, kept taking out his mobile phone to check the time; and then I gradually became aware that this was how all of them did it. Finally I asked them whether any of them used a watch; and none of them did. They thought my question was a little odd, like asking whether any of them travelled to college on a penny-farthing bicycle.

I like to think I am pretty with it when it comes to modern social and technological trends, but this one caught me out – it had kept up on me without my noticing. And now that I know, it still makes no sense to me. Sure, I would understand that some free spirits might reject the notion of time and deadlines altogether, but none of these students was in that category; to them it was just obvious that if you needed to know the time you checked your phone, which of course you carry everywhere. As for me, even with this new trending fact in my possession, I still find that way of telling the time awkward and counter-intuitive. I’ll stick with my watch, but slightly self-consciously now. I hope this doesn’t mean I have reached middle age in terms of attitude.