First of all, sorry about the comments lost during the server migration yesterday. Couldn’t be helped, really. Had to migrate (and there will be a second wave in a couple of days) to solve the database problems that have been plaguing me for ages. That said, let me go into the subject of this entry.
I was reading an article about a three-year-old child’s sleeping issue being solved by a digital clock in his bedroom. The child determines if it’s too early or too late to get up in the morning by reading the numbers on the clock. My kids first learned to tell time by reading digital clocks too. And when I tried to teach them how to read analog clocks, we started having problems. In fact, when they were old enough to start wearing wrist watches, they preferred digital to analog. And it ate at me, you know? I wondered if that was okay.
To put it more clearly, I wondered if I wasn’t depriving them of anything by allowing them to get used to reading time in digital format. Was the ability to read analog clocks no longer a necessary skill in a world that was fast becoming a purely digital arena?
Of course, the issue became less controversial as they grew older. Without any nagging from me (except that I refused to buy any more digital wrist watches), they did learn to read analog clocks. But, until today, they are not as fast with analog clocks as they are with digital ones. And they especially have a problem with analog clocks that don’t have any numbers. Quite frankly, the reverse is true with me. In fact, I’m so slow with the 24-hour format. I still manually count from 1300 onward to get the exact time. And even if an analog clock has no numbers, I can tell at a glance what the time is.
I wonder sometimes if it’s a generation thing, you know? My generation grew up with analog clocks; theirs with digital ones. And I wonder just how many kids have issues with analog clocks. I wonder too if the retention of the analog face in formal (and more expensive) wrist watches has more to do with style than functionality.