For the first few years that I had a cellphone I didn’t wear a watch. I didn’t make any kind on conscious decision about it. I just stopped. But a year or two ago I decided to wear one again. It was a practical decision: it is much easier to discreetly look at a watch than it is to pull a phone out of one’s pocket and hit the button to see the time. At first I had only planned on wearing it to work.
The more I wore one, however, the more I got to like it. I bought a new watch — nothing fancy, a big round face with clear numbers and solid easy-to-see hands — and ever since the new watch has been an instrument of liberation. The phone isn’t a tool of communication anymore. It is just a gew-gaw to stare at. I look at my phone less now. I turn it off more often. When I think that I can get away with it, I leave it at home. My watch weighs about the same as my cellphone, but it is teaching me the joys of being unencumbered.