This Christmas, among the presents my mother-in-law gave me was a Mickey Mouse watch. (I’m going to take a moment to savor how enjoyable it is that the “in-law” part refers to an actual law now. The happy effect still hasn’t worn off.)
I haven’t worn a watch in years, but I thought it was a cute gift for a pediatrician. I put a sticker with a cartoon character on my stethoscope ages ago, and kids still get a kick when they see it. Figuring (correctly, it turns out) that they would get a similar small pleasure out of seeing yet another beloved character elsewhere on my person and wanting to honor my MIL’s gift, I decided to wear it.
And now I get annoyed with myself when I forget to put it on.
Friends, wearing a watch is great! Want to know what time it is? Why, by wearing a watch you can find out simply by glancing at your wrist! Worried that you’re running behind schedule? A brief downward flick of the eyes is much more subtle than digging your phone out of a pocket, pressing the button to illuminate the screen and then cramming it back in! The risk of inadvertently communicating “let’s move this along, please” to a patient drops dramatically.
I understand that the ubiquity of mobile phones has rendered the wristwatch redundant in many people’s eyes. It certainly had in mine. And I am delighted to have learned that the device deserves to be rescued from the fate of obsolescence. Or at least until we get information screens implanted in our corneas, which I assume Google is working on at this very minute.
So that’s this week’s Question — what else should be preserved in amber? As progress rolls steadily on, which devices or behaviors would you like to see retain their historic place and shape? What might you have rediscovered that withstands the pitiless scorn of modernity?