Is technology turning our brains to mush?

Recently a new cell phone arrived at my doorstep for me to test.  I was so excited that the first thing I wanted to do was call someone.  Who would be excited for me? My husband, of course.  I grabbed that phone and started to press the numbers, when I realized that I could not for the life of me remember his work number.  "I'll call his cell phone," I thought.  But, I couldn't remember that either!  I never have to think about them, because they are programmed into my contacts on my regular cell phone.

As I thought about this, I realized that I could remember the telephone number we had when I was growing up (which was a very long time ago, indeed).  It was BUtler 9-3687.  I could remember my grandmother's telephone number from the 1950s!  It was WHitehall 1-5716.  I could even remember my ex-husband's social security number!  It was ... well, I probably shouldn't tell you, eh?  Now, I fully realize that as we age our short term memory goes, and we retain our long term memory.  But, I don't think my main problem is aging --- I think it's laziness.  Because I don't have to remember the numbers, I don't bother to burn them into my brain.

Therefore, I can remember those numbers that are no longer meaningful, but I can't remember the phone numbers I use every stinkin' day.  I've got the same trouble with the passwords for about fifty different on-line accounts:  they are saved in my computer and I can never remember them.  Do I have them scribbled in a notebook somewhere?  Duh.  No.  I'm foolishly trusting my technology.

While it is convenient to let the technology do the memorizing, it is suddenly clear to me that it's not a smart idea.  At least it isn't for me.  What am I going to do if I ever have a real emergency and need those numbers?

What about you?  If you lost your cell phone today, and had to use a pay phone to call someone ... do you know the numbers by heart?

Or, if (God forbid) your computer crashed ... would you have to re-build all your accounts with new passwords or do you know them all?

Do y'all think we rely on this technology too much?  I think my brain has turned to mush.  Excuse me.  I'm gonna go memorize some telephone numbers now.

Shelly Kneupper Tucker

writes at This Eclectic Life

 

Twitter handle: @shellyktucker

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.