Do you have the time?

Years ago, when I was still using a dumb phone, I stopped wearing my watch. It was a decision to use the clock on my phone and not have two things on my person for the same task.

The watch was left on my desk. Then a series of drawers. By the time I moved to Boston, it hadn’t seen the light of day for over a year. Being a watch with a solar battery, that lead to it having some issues. But it didn’t matter to me. I’ve gone through three cell phones since I stopped wearing the watch, and the upgrade to an iPhone hadn’t changed the belief that if I have something in my pocket that can tell the time, why do I need something on my wrist that only tells the time?

My wife sent my watch to be repaired for my birthday this year. I had almost forgotten about it. She told me that it was a nice watch and we should see if it could be fixed.

The thing that I hadn’t counted on was how different things had become since I first made the decision to stop wearing a watch. Now, my phone isn’t just a clock, phone, and source of text messages. It’s a portal to Twitter, Facebook, Tiny Wings, Instapaper, and the entire flipping internet. Checking the time easily becomes checking seven other things.

But you’ve probably heard that before. It’s trendy to give up on smart phones, or to nerf some of their features so that you don’t distract yourself. But that doesn’t say why I’m changing my mind about wearing my watch.

When I check the time on my phone, it’s a static digital readout of the hours and minutes of the day. It tells me that I am at one particular moment in time, and this is how I should orient my thinking.

When I look at the watch, I get the same information about what time it is, but I also see the second hand. I see motion. I see time moving forward, and I remember that I should be moving with it.

It is a nice watch.