What time is it?

I don’t understand people who don’t wear watches.

Oh, I “understand” them. It’s not as if I hear Klingon or the Peanuts “wha-wha-wha” when words come out of their mouths. I mean I don’t understand why they don’t wear watches. Yes, it’s a generational thing. People under the age of, oh, 33 or so just use their cell phones to tell time (and communicate with other people and surf the web and keep track of addresses, etc, etc, etc). Maybe I’d understand the no-watch thing if I used a cell phone.

There it is! The truth comes out! Luddite! Luddite! Luddite! No. I own a cell (not a smart phone, a dumb one) but I choose not to use it because I was probably using it a grand total of two minutes a month when I did use it. And I have a laptop and I’ve been using computers since the early 80s and I Skype and I’m on Twitter and I design web sites, but I also wear an old-fashioned analog watch.

I have one foot in 1959 and one foot in 2013, and it suits me just fine.

But back to the cell vs. watch thing: what happens if you misplace your cell? Or it dies? Or it’s stolen? Or it falls into a toilet? It seems odd to carry around this rather bulky item in your pocket to tell the time when you could just strap a light watch to your wrist, which is out of the way until you need it. You don’t have to turn on a watch to see what time it is or press a button to make the time light up. You twist your wrist and you see what time it is. Total time it takes: 1.2 seconds.

I wonder how many people are growing up these days not even knowing how to read an analog clock. (Don’t laugh – I actually know a twentysomething who has a hard time.)

I’m the same way when it comes to address books. I still keep a paper address book on my desk. If I need to find a number, I just open the page via the alpha listing and find it. I have friends who keep their entire lives on their phones. If they want to find a number for someone they have to turn on their phones (if it’s not on already) and scroll through a list of “contacts” (we used to call them “phone numbers” or “friends” or “family members”). And because our brains are getting rearranged and no one even memorizes phone numbers anymore (I still remember my childhood phone number and the phone number of the pizza place I worked at 27 years ago), these people will have to look at the contacts in their cells again a few days later when they need the same number.

I have a friend who does this. He refuses to have a piece of paper next to his phone with a list of four or five numbers that he might need. He actually refuses to do this, because he thinks it’s “easier” or maybe “more modern” to have everything on your phone. Meanwhile, when he has to find his phone and look up something he gets irritated and sighs heavily.

A lot of people seem to think that if they admit that paper still has a vital role to play in society then they will be considered old or slow or not with-it. A test: go for one week without using any paper at all. See how that works out to you. Come back here and leave a comment and let us know how it went.

What I’m trying to say – and I admit it might have gotten lost – I will always wear a watch. I like landline phones and old phone books and paper planners and pens too. So sue me (there’s an app for that).

I have no idea how I got into a rant about new tech vs. old, but there you go. Let me know what you think of the new site design (only the latest post on the front page, all the sidebar stuff on the bottom now, etc.) And have a great weekend!

(Oh yeah, an update to this: 2 and 3 completed, working on 1.)

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