As a child, I remember my grandfather's Casio watch captivated me. It was simple, yet reliable. And, like any young, impressionable kid, I desired my own, pestering my mother relentlessly until I owned a similar Casio.
Technology is moving at the speed of light
Since then, I have lost that watch and now I am an entrepreneur in the age of AI (Artificial Intelligence) being faced with the fact that everything that used to seem impossible, is now possible. The speed at which these innovations are moving makes it hard to keep up.
But, amidst all this change, one constant remain - Time. It ticks away unaltered, just as it did a thousand years ago.
We are "always on" and our lives are directed by technology
We engage with technology almost every waking hour of the day. Our digital devices manage our lives from the moment we wake up until we sleep. Every aspect of our lives intertwines with some piece of technology.
The smartwatch on our wrists, for instance, is a reminder of our 'always-on' lifestyle. A life where every movement is tracked, every notification seeks immediate attention, and reminders to move or exercise or breathe are a part of daily life.
Is technology trying to control my life and attention?
Realising that our devices are taking over our lives, led me to ask myself several hard questions:
- Is it necessary for companies like Apple/Google to track my every move?
- Do I need to be constantly aware of every notification? Or can it wait?
- Would I need a reminder to move or breathe if I wasn't constantly doing 'busy work'?
Pondering these questions I found myself yearning for the simplicity of my old Casio watch.
A watch that does not have all the smart features. A watch that won't prompt me to exercise or reward me with 'points' for working out. A watch that won't sync with WhatsApp or any other social media platform and try to steal my attention for another dopamine hit every 2 minutes.
Simple, effective, minimalist
It dawned on me that, while we can have all the technology in the world, it is not necessary to always be 'on'.
That's when I decided to buy myself a new Casio watch. The Casio W-800H-1AV.
It will do some remarkable things: tell the time, beep on the hour, allow me to set alarms, be nearly indestructible and I only need to change the battery every 10 years. It is simple, effective, and minimalist.
A symbol and a conversation starter
My new Casio watch serves as a symbol of this realization and a call to retreat from the 'always-on' lifestyle.
I know, people will see my simple watch on my wrist and ask me about it, which will give me the opportunity to share the following with them:
Turn off your phone, go for a walk, engage in deep conversation with a friend without digital interruptions, and reclaim your attention. It is not about going back to an old-school watch. It's about making a conscious decision to step back, simplify, and take control of your time.
Remember, time remains constant and unchanging, even as the world around us spins wildly with technology. Choose how you engage with it. Choose simplicity. Choose control. And in my case, choose an old-school Casio watch.
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