Saturday, December 1, 2012

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Sheena Iyengar, Columbia Business School professor and author of The Art of Choosing, conducted the famous “Jam Study." Grocery-store shoppers who were offered a coupon for one of six different jams were more likely to buy a jar than if they were offered a coupon good for one of 17 jams. "People are more attracted to a lot of choice," Iyengar said, "but when it comes to making a choice, they are more likely to [actually] if they have fewer options [rather] than more." Her research seems to offer evidence, more is less! Her research put talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh on a tirade that this was un-American, anti-freedom! Even though we may not care to hear it, truth is reality. It took the Catholic church until 1993 to accept Galileo's work!

With the holiday season coming, the gadget catalogs have been filling my mailbox. They are filled with “James Bondesk” items for daily living. Toys for boys! Comfort for girls! iPhone add-ons! Time suckers! Healthier health choices going way beyond Obamacare!

What caught my attention were the wrist watch time pieces! They go way beyond the mainstream Timex and Rolex watches! Are we bored with time and the way we track time! There was a watch made of sandalwood. Scented time! The Circular LED watch tracks time with light. HighLIGHTED time! The Triarch LED watch displays time in geometry. Time with a new angle! Want your watch to truly tell you the time? A male voice distinctly tells you the time when its inconvenient for you to look. Time has a voice. The Verticular watch reminds one of the elevator tracker panel on the first floor of a high rise. Time going up or time coming down? How about a genuine Navy Seal watch! (Reminder of the time the Seals got Bin Laden.) Got a case of OCD? The “Always Accurate Watch” continuously calibrates its time with the U.S. Atomic Clock, at Ft. Collins, CO. Serious time. The world’s thinnest calendar watch merges German engineering with Swiss watchmaking. Time meets diversity! The faceless watch has hidden LED’s in the watch band. Time to be discreet?

What I find interesting and perhaps troubling in these catalogs is that none of these watches are shown on the wrist of a human being. Where is the human touch, the human contact, the human interaction? Another observation, all of these watches are for men! Is time keeping a man-thing? Is keeping time masculine or macho? What is the message the wearer is sending to others? Are these watches cryptic symbols for the need for better time management? 

What time piece would you choose or could you choose?! Why? Where are you spending your time these days? Are you spending too much time trying to make up your mind?

    Does anybody really know what time it is?
    Does anybody really care?
    If so I can't imagine why.
    We've all got time enough to die.

                      Robert Lamm,

                      Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?