Articles

Watch the Time

In opinion on February 21, 2006 by karan

I was just looking about on the train today and I noticed that perhaps 75% of people had wristwatches on*. That doesn’t sound like anything particularly special, especially given that practically everyone has a watch these days, but what it does signify is that thinking these days is very time-oriented, as opposed to event-oriented. This is not the issue of judging days – that’s calendars – or indeed judging period of day (e.g. Morning, Afternoon, that kinda thing). Having a watch on your wrist signifies that you need to know at the very least the hour of the day, and probably the minute of it. It implies that minutes – completely arbitrary units of time – matter so much that they must be kept track of all day in a very convenient system.

We’re not time poor as individuals^ or as society – we’re just measuring it in a way that makes us think we’re missing out on a lot.

(* One factor which possibly discounts is that these were, after all, public transport users, and they’d need to catch a train running to a timetable. Co-ordination of masses of people invariably needs a level of time management as well, and that’s fair enough. Of course, if you live outside Japan you should know that the timetable isn’t so much a final word, more of a general guideline :P)

(^ Of course, you may actually be time-poor due to way too much work. Sit back and look at your life again, because once you do, you might see that you’re doing some things that are getting in the way of just plain enjoying life.)

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