Maybe it’s time to switch back to digital

By Larry Stanford

May 2, 2014

I recently went home at my regular time, ate dinner, sat on the front porch for a while, then went inside, sat down in my recliner and turned on the TV, as I usually do. And as I usually do, about 30 minutes later I fell asleep watching TV. I woke up daze and confused, and looked at my watch.

In the last few years, I’ve gone back to wearing watches with the ‘old school’ faces on them, the ones with 1 to 12 in a circle with minute and hour hands. I’ve been wearing wrist watches since I was old enough to need one. Back then they were face watches that had to be wound up. In college I graduated to the self-winding watches that wound themselves based on the movement of my wrist. I’m sure people back then thought I had some type of nervous condition, because about once every hour or so I’d shake my wrist, just to be sure the watch was getting enough movement to stay wound up.

After I got out of college and started working, I switched to digital watches. I was never into the fancy digital watches. I was happy with a basic digital watch that told time and usually had a stop watch built into it. I played games with the stop watch where I would match the fingers of my hands together in competition to see which finger was faster in starting and stopping the watch. Again, anybody watching me would probably think I had a nervous condition because my fingers would be shaking as I turned the stop watch on and off, on and off, on and off.

But over the last few years, as I’ve gotten older and my eyesight has gotten worse, I’ve found it harder and harder to read the numbers on digital watches, so I’ve switched back to the face watches. Currently I’ve got a combination face/digital watch. I can see the face from 8 up around, over and down to 4, then below that it is digital and shows me the day and date. I didn’t really want the digital part, but I was swayed by the watch having a 10-year battery.

At any rate, I woke up the other night in my recliner, dazed and confused. I looked at my watch, and through a sleepy fog saw 1:50 a.m.! I shot wobbly out of the chair, thinking ‘Why did they let me sleep for five hours in the chair? Why didn’t they wake me and tell me to go to bed? I’ve got to get up in four hours! I need to get to bed!’ I turned the TV off and went to the bedroom. I use my cell phone as my alarm clock, and it was already plugged in to charge. I had forgotten to turn the alarm on the night before, so I hit the switch to check it, and the phone light came on, displaying the time: ‘9:10 p.m.’ I said, ‘That can’t be right,’ and switched it on and off again, and the time again showed: ‘9:10 p.m.’ I turned the bedside lamp on, put my glasses on, reached over to my watch on the dresser, and it said ‘9:10 p.m.’ I had misread it. I was so ticked that I got up, went back out and sat down and watched TV for another hour before I finally went to bed.

Maybe I need to switch back to fully digital watches. It’s harder to mix up 9 and 1, and at my age, my hands already shake on their own now, so it ought to make playing games with the stop watch even more fun.

Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414, or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.