Just back from a mini-vacation (about all I have time for these days) to a rainy and windswept beach on the Pacific Coast of Washington State.
Because it was a vacation, I tried to live differently than during the workweek, when I must syncopate my efforts to the clock.
I said the clock. Not the watch. Heck, I don't even own a watch. Not a wristwatch.
But hey guess what. I own a BlackBerry. And my BlackBerry is my watch.
Monday morning, reading the paper in my beachfront hotel, I learned I am not alone.
"In a survey last fall, investment bank Piper Jaffray & Co. found that nearly two-thirds of teens never wear a watch _ and only about one in 10 wears one every day," writes Martha Irvine of the Associated Press.
Of course I am no teen, but then, Martha notes that Experian Simmons Research also discovered that, while Americans spent more than $5.9 billion on watches in 2006, that figure was down 17 percent when compared with five years earlier.
Why? We have the time available to us on our computers, in our cars, and of course, on our cellphones and wouldn't you know, BlackBerry.
Experian (thought they only did credit bureau reports, eh?) "behavioral scientist Max Kilger tells Martha, that watches are "anchor point(s). "A cell phone is one step up from that; it begins to help you manage your time. And a BlackBerry is one level up from that."
Kilger regards watches increasingly as fashion items, and BlackBerrys as utilitarian objects that take away that aspect from watches. In other words, you wear a watch for flair, and carry a BlackBerry for workaday efficency.
Or you are like me, and don't carry a wristwatch at all.
My favorite part of Martha's article is a quote she offers from Sean MacPhedran, a 27-year-old advertising industry person based Ottawa, Ontario, who she gets on the record talking about the beeps and vibrations his BlackBerry makes to remind him of appointments as well as other obligations.
"On the one hand, I've become a slave to its beeps," he says. "But on the other hand, it automates a lot of things that I would have to do manually otherwise, like try to remember when I'm supposed to go learn how to cha-cha or call a client."
Sean, I'm with ya dude. Sounds like my typical day.
My BlackBerry isn't only my watch. It watches me.