I see it all the time — people hurrying down the street, riding on the train, sitting in a cafe, having a meal, having a conversation, playing with their kids. They sneak a quick peek at their cell phone — too fast to be checking a message: they’re checking the time.
Once I noticed it, I see it all the time, and it’s really pretty funny. We’ve replaced pocket watches with wrist watches and replaced wrist watches with cell phones as timepieces. When we need to know the time, or when we’re asked, we reach into our pocket, pull out our fancy digital pocket watch, click the button on the side to turn it on and peer down. (All that’s missing, really, is the chain attaching it to our pocket — which actually would be a useful feature.)
Dan and I often laugh between ourselves at how much we take the computing power in our pocket for granted. When one of us is grumbling about how “slow” or “frustrating” our phone is, the other will remark, “Oh, yes, the supercomputer/phone/camera/internet access in my pocket is just not fast enough for me!” The ease and seamless integration of this kind of technology into our lives is something that would have been astounding (to the point of seeming magical) to us only 15 years ago or so, and now we carry these devices around with us everywhere we go. I sure do like my fancy pocket watch.