Okay. Be kind. I am a newspaper reporter kind of guy. I read reports. I go to meetings. I interview people. I take pictures and I take notes. I even have a fedora, with a card stuffed in the band that in red letters reads, “Press.” (I know, it makes me smile, too.) All that said, what it means is I am pretty much a skeptic.
Oh, believe me, just like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. I want to believe in humanity, the magic of Christmas, the tooth fairy and all that politicians really want to do is help the people who elected them. And, while I really want to believe with all the innocence of youth, unjaded by time and circumstance, I find my eyes roll more and more over the things I read and hear.
The latest example I’ve heard, and I immediately did not believe was a real thing, is “time blindness.” Time blindness, so I heard, is an affliction that causes a person to be chronically late. So, if you’re supposed to be at work when work starts, say at 9 a.m., most likely the person afflicted with time blindness will be at work sometime after 9 a.m. And, if they have a doctor’s note, it’s all okay.
I’ll admit, as a skeptic, this sounded to me as just another way that the darned ol’ younger generation is being pampered and given another excuse why they cannot do this or that. Much like everyone needs a safe space these days, I guess everyone also needs a reason why they cannot get to work on time other than being lazy.
Of course “time blindness” rankled me!
Why wasn’t I smart enough to think of that when I was younger and late for work?
Oh, yeah. Maybe I wasn’t late for work – even if I only had a few hours of sleep before work started. It was drilled into my core at a very young age that if you were somewhere on time, you were 15 minutes late. I still feel uncomfortable if I get to a meeting “on time” and I still get to work an hour or two before the “clock starts.”
The early bird gets the worm.
As somewhat of a reporter-type, I had to question: Are medical professionals just coming up with new terms and ailments to pad their bank accounts? Or, is this some sort line of malarky perpetrated upon humanity via the world wide web?
So, what did I do? Why of course, I went to the world wide web and searched “time blindness.”
Much to my chagrin, I found articles in real newspapers and on medical websites: Time Blindness, they all report is an actual, legit experience.
In a USA Today article from July 21, psychologist Ari Tuckman is reported as stating, people can also experience temporary bouts of time blindness if they are grieving, drunk, stressed or sleep-deprived. People also experience time blindness to varying severity. “We all have some sense of time. This ability to see and be aware of time, it’s a human ability that’s on a spectrum. Some people are really good; some people are not as good.”
The article also gave a few tips on how to cope (aka, not be late for work) with Time Blindness, like getting an app for your cell phone, get plenty of sleep (really?) and to see an ADHD specialist. But the coping tool that tickled my fancy was this: Try an analog clock instead of a digital one.
KER-POW! My mind was blown . . .
Of course, it seems so simple now! Just as there are people of a certain age who can read an analog clock (and get to work on time), there are peop
le, generally of a different age, who cannot. What I am trying to say is sometime in the early parts of this century “they” stopped teaching kids how to tell time with regular, good, old-fashioned watches and clocks with second hands, minute hands and hour hands because everything switched from mechanical to digital. Every kid now can tell you it’s exactly 5:43 p.m by looking at a digital clock, but would have no idea what time it is if you tell them, “It’s about quarter to five.”
Here’s what the article reported about the analog coping tool: “Using an old-school clock with minute and hour hands can help people with time blindness keep track of how long things take as well as see the present moment in relationship to the past and future. ‘It’s much more tangible,” Tuckman says. ‘You see the hand move, and you see how close it is to whatever time point, as opposed to digital clocks that are really just abstract.’”
So maybe, just maybe this is a small part of a much larger conspiracy to dumb down our nation. Maybe the digital and the mental health people are part of a larger cabal to destroy the land of the free and the home of the brave. Oh, the humanity! (By the way, it’s 8:47 a.m. Work for me starts in three minutes.)
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