I never had to buy a watch for my two sons who are in their twenties now because I gave them a cell phone when they were about 12.
One of them now has a watch, but that’s because it was a present from some girl (not his girlfriend, he insists!) when he turned 21. Once the battery in this watch dies, my guess is that he will probably not replace it, especially if he has another girlfriend by then, I mean just friend.
I do have a watch but that’s because every few years I go to Europe and my cell phone does not work there. I put the watch on my wrist when I leave for the airport and take it off and leave it in a cupboard in the kitchen when I come back from the airport. When the battery in that watch dies, I will have to buy a new watch because it is so hard to find a place with the right battery for your watch these days.
Or not if my cell phone starts working in Europe.
I noticed that very few young people wear a watch these days. Who needs a watch when the time is displayed on your phone?
The watch making industry is still surviving by trying to promote watches as fashionable accessories, but unless they can figure out how to get young people hooked on watches (which they can’t), there may be more people on this planet using Morse code in a few years than wearing a watch.
Sic transit gloria mundi (thus passes the glory of the world).
Well, of course, I am exaggerating, but only slightly. Because the young are no longer interested in watches or newspapers, watch manufacturers and newspaper publishers will soon be catering to an even smaller, constantly shrinking market niche.
It will be kind of sad, I think, if ladies classy watches disappear in a few years. A tiny and delicate golden ladies watch used to emphasize the graceful and elegant presence of a gentleman’s dinner date for something like a hundred years. But ladies watches are being replaced in our crass culture by cell phones, huge hoop earrings (so distracting – you can’t see her face or concentrate on what she’s saying when you have to follow the gyrating trajectory of those dangling earrings), and bling-bling jewelry.
The other uncool possession that I still have, although I never use it, is my fax. I still have a fax number and a separate phone line, but the fax is turned off.
I decided to turn it off about a year ago because there was no other way to prevent my fax machine from hitting me with junk faxes every few days. I used to rely on the friendly green light on my fax machine, telling me that the machine was always ready and eager to receive ….. anything that somebody might throw at it. My fax has been a good friend to me for so many years, from 1987 until just a few years ago.
But the only faxes that I have been receiving the last few years were advertisement for trips to Mexico and health insurance plans for self-employed individuals, both invariably based on lies and deceptions. The tours, if they exist at all, would have to cost much more than what is advertised, and the health insurance plan would work perfectly …. until you got sick.
There is a number in a tiny font on the bottom of those faxes to call to have your fax number removed from the “database”. I called it three times, but the faxes still continued. So I turned the machine off, and so did just about everybody else, I presume.
The junk fax industry is a type of business that is determined to kill off all of its customers. Not a very sound business concept.
But I am keeping the fax line and the fax machine, mostly for sentimental reasons. If you call me or e-mail ahead of time, I will turn it on and you can send me something.
I understand fax machines are still used quite a bit in Japan, mostly by older people who prefer to write everything meticulously by hand in elaborate Japanese characters the way it has been done for centuries, when saké still tasted like saké, and fish still tasted like fish because there was no mercury, no oil particles, and no radioactive elements in fish back then.
Perhaps there will be something worth turning my fax on again in another year or two.
(Probably not. An overwhelming feeling of tragic loss and profound sadness descends upon me.)