today, we're almost all on time together
There was once a time when New Year’s Eve heralded the one time of year we were all on time together. My family and friends counted down the seconds as we watched a twinkling “Big Apple” drop. At zero, a cacophony of noise blowers, cheers, fireworks, and even banging of pots and pans erupted simultaneously across our time zone. Perhaps our watches and clocks were synchronized for the big moment, but likely not.
There was once a time when appearing late within a five minute variance, early or late, could easily be dismissed by watches set a few minutes too fast or too slow. Generally, time was an individual experience, dictated by “official” announcements from radio disk jockeys or a TV news broadcast. More often, we set our watches and clocks by asking a friend or stranger, “Can you please give me the time?”
As the band Chicago explained in 1970:
As I was walking down the street one day
A man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was
On my watch, yeah
And I said
Does anybody really know what time it is?
Does anybody really care?
But now we have smartphones, and while we may not always appear at the right place at the right time, much of the world is moving to the same global clock. It is no small feat; it is a historically unprecedented common shared experience. The seconds, minutes, hours of every day ‘tick’ past the same for everyone without much thought to how special our singular moment together truly is. Ans yes, we care what time it is.
So, Happy New Year! I am glad to share our time together.