I have two confessions to make.
First, just like the kids in this New York Times article (is this really long enough to be an article, maybe it's a snippet?), I have discontinued my use of wristwatches.
But it's not because I'm trendy or with-it, it's because every time I took my (many) watches to Wal-Mart or wherever to get the batteries replaced, they would work about three days and stop. This happened to me several times, so I decide to start buying the $5 Wal-Mart watch and throw it away when the battery ran out. It lasted about two weeks. I gave up.
I just flat out decided to stop wearing a watch - I was expending more energy to know what time it was than it was really worth. (Now when people ask for the time, I can glance at the freckles on my wrist and sing Neil Diamond's "Does anyone really know what time it is? Does anyone really care?") My co-workers are beginning to find this annoying, but I have not tired of it yet.
My second confession is that I never even considered glancing at my Blackberry or my cell phone to see what time it was. I went into the spiel about not wearing a watch one day with one of my younger co-workers - and she said, "Yeah, I don't wear a watch either. I just look at my phone." I of course did not make the confession to her that I never thought of my Blackberry or cell phone as a portable clock or she would have wondered what kind of idiot she worked for - but my oversight amazed me. (I do sometimes wonder how big ideas come to me often but many small things that seem to be blatantly obvious to others escape me all the time. Is it one or the other?)
The point that I think the NYT article missed though is that young people want to use their mobiles as a watch because they welcome any excuse to show it off (their status symbol) - much like a newly engaged girl will make exaggerated movements with her hand to look at her finger or a newly licensed teenage driver will pour a gallon of milk down the drain for an excuse to go to the grocery store. It's not about utility - it's still fashion.