Deconstructing The Watch: Your Phone As A Pocket Watch

by Randy Murray on October 20, 2014

“What time is it?”

You pull your phone out of your pocket, look down at it, and tell me.

It is an odd behavior that makes me think of three piece suits and fancy accessories. Watch fobs and chains and pen knives. How strange that a group of people, thinking themselves highly technical and advanced have taken what is essentially an evolutionary step backwards. “No wrist watches for us!” And yet they treat their phones as pocket watches.

I love pocket watches. I have an inexpensive one and sometimes carry it while wearing blue jeans, using that little sewn pocket on the right for what it was intended. And while all of this is fun, it feels like an affectation. It’s an intentional move to step back, to embrace an older technology and relationship with time. Affected, yes, but I highly recommend it.

But here we are, decades after pocket watches have fallen out of style and are once again, like rail road conductors from long ago, pausing to stop a few moments, reach into our pockets, and pull out our bedecked and accessorized phones to check the time.

I’m not complaining, I’m simply pointing out the incongruity. People tell me that they no longer need to wear a watch because they have a phone, and then they go right back into their well practiced routine. I fully expect to hear them shout “All aboard!”


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