Do you ‘watch’ the time?

I go and see people.  Sometimes I can sneak in, but, depending on where I am, sometimes I have to wait for them to bother to come down from their executive office and get me.

Some places have you sign in and sign out, and you even get a badge to wear.  The signing in and signing out bit is interesting because there’s usually a column for the ‘time in’ and ‘time out’.

Not unexpectedly, this requires the person doing the signing to find out the time so that they can correctly put it into the column.  So, where do they look to find out the time?

When I’m kept waiting in reception areas, I get bored and I watch the comings and goings of those who always seem to get less waiting time than me.

Now, years ago, all a person had was their watch.  To check the time they looked on their wrist to see the time loyally displayed by their friend the ‘time piece’.  Its single yet most important function being to tick away the seconds as accurately as possible and to always be ready to answer the question of what time it is.

But, it’s dawned on me of late that the watch is now slowly being retired. Firstly, it seems that unless it is a piece of very expensive jewellery the watch is no longer needed.  Along with the camera, the diary, a phone book, a notebook, and photo album it has been consigned to the bin.

Watching those who need to know the time, they turn to the one single device they turn to for absolutely everything else.  They turn to their mobile phone.

Yep, as they reach the column that requires the time, out pops their mobile, it gets woken up and straight away it tells them the time.  Job done.  No having to extend the arm from the shirt sleeve in order to reveal a watch, no need for a watch.

When the mobile phone moved in on other devices to make them redundant for the average person, much lamenting was made of the fate of the low end cameras, but nobody cried for the humble wristwatch.

I wear a wristwatch.  It’s a digital watch of course, analogue watches use a language I have no desire to have to learn, and it also tunes to a radio signal in order to keep perfect and accurate time.  It is never fast or slow.

Transferring the function of my digital watch to my mobile phone just seems and feels wrong.  Yes, my mobile also checks the time against a reference in order to keep it perfectly right, but there’s something not right about ditching my wristwatch for it.  Indeed, I’d always assumed that the wristwatch would be where the mobile phone ended up.

This might be a sign of old age on my part, of course.

Definitely most of today’s yoof don’t wear a watch unless it is bling.  Time sits inside their mobile phones.  It is their mobile phones that assist them know the time to put in the ‘in’ or ‘out’ column. For now though, my trusty wristwatch supplies me with that information, and I don’t want to say goodbye to it.

Should I be letting go?

Maybe not, it seems.  I mentioned earlier that I always imagined that it would be the wristwatch that expanded to absorb all else.  Indeed, at home in a drawer I have a wristwatch that is/was also a phone.  It’s a good few years old, and, whilst it looked nice at the time, it wasn’t practical to use.  Oh, and the battery lasted about 15 minutes.  It was a big fail, hence why it lives in the bottom of a drawer.

However, it does seem that a kind of wristwatch is the next step for mobile communications, alongside, I assume, ‘net access, camera, text, and so on.  If one gets pushed out by Apple (the ‘iWrist+‘?) then all the iSheep will rush out and buy it.  And because Apple see a future in multi-functioning wrist based devices, you can be sure there will be a superior Android version out as well.

So, maybe the humble wristwatch is not as dead as it might at first appear.