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When the what hand is on the what?

Hey, it’s Rich Dale.  OK, I have to admit that digital clocks make more sense than telling time by the positions of 2 sticks.  But having said that, a lot of us are devastated by the revelation from a new study that 20% of people aged 18-24 do not know how to read the 2 sticks.

People not learning to “tell time” is a relatively new thing.  There’s no incentive, now that digital clocks are everywhere!  Digital clocks have been around for quite a while, but back in the 70’s, people weren’t commonly carrying them around like today.  Having a wristwatch in fact, had started to fall out of favor with younger people.  They carry their phones everywhere, so why bother wearing a watch?  Of course, they’ve come back due to the advent of smart watches.

There’s no real reason to cry about the possible demise of analog clocks.  It’s just that they’ve been around since any of us were born.  Kind of like vinyl records.  It’s kind of weird that when you say “a quarter to ten” instead of 9:45 to someone under 20, they will likely have no idea what you mean.

It is true that digital car clocks and oven clocks actually last as long as the car or the oven, whereas analog clocks in those things were famous for conking out after about a year.  But that’s because today’s digital clocks have no moving parts, unlike the “flip leaf” digital clocks of the 70’s.

Some things, like vinyl records, are worth preserving.  Vinyl records because they actually sound better in many cases.  I guess analog clocks may become something that people have to look old-fashioned and high class, like using roman numerals.  If so, at least I can feel like some kind of historian for knowing how to read them.  I’ve still never learned how to read those clocks they sell at Sharper Image that just have a bunch of big dots.  I guess that’s how some teenagers feel when they look at a regular analog clock.


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