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TIME IS TICKING!

We all crave for simplicity in our lives. But if we closely observe, the way we do things is not always simple. A complex object can be confusing at times but too much simplicity is also very boring.

Consider how we read time. Majority of us own and prefer using an analog watch vs a digital one. A digital watch is precise, literal and simple. Whereas it takes months of learning to read time correctly from an analog watch. (Two rotating hands – shorter indicating hour and longer one indicating minutes. In some cases, also a third one for seconds) But we still prefer using an analog watch to a digital one. Why?


A digital watch is a literal object that just states information without any room for individual interpretation. It instructs. It only showcases the present time.

An analog watch on the other hand allows us to derive and therefore construct the information in our minds. The visual, spatial and auditory information combine to help us interpret the past, present and future of time.


When the watch indicates 12:20, the space created with the hands helps us make a visual interpretation of the ’20 minutes past 12’ or ’40 mins remaining for 1o’clock.

This also aids  our sense of control over the time that is passing or has passed, and we all know how essential this is to human beings, the lack of which is a source of stress. The simplification afforded by a digital watch, leads to a loss of control or power.

This is an illustration of a scenario where an object with higher perceived complexity, an analogue watch, is more meaningful and therefore more pleasurable than its simpler version, the digital watch.

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