Health Personal Essays

Memorizing Phone Numbers

I used to know everyone’s phone number. I’d think about calling a person, pick up the phone and quickly, firmly, confidently punch in the numbers that made up that person’s identity. Knowing your number meant we were connected, and I really like that notion, especially now as technology takes us further and further from each other. Now, everyone’s number is in the contact section of my cell. I plug in their name and it’s dialed automatically. I don’t even have a landline at home. Some people feel you need them in case of an attack, but my feeling is that getting things like landline phones in case of an attack is like betting against yourself.

Back to memorizing phone numbers. I think we need to revisit this.

I drink Diet Coke; ergo I have to worry about memory loss from the aspartame in it. Remembering numbers is a synapse link that’s important to memory retention as you get older. Did you know that the short term memory capacity of the average person is between five and nine digits? That’s why numbers are seven digits. Do not ever say you don’t learn important trivia on my blog. I wonder if that is still true. We don’t memorize phone numbers anymore and I bet it’s like a muscle not used, it atrophies.

To be honest, I don’t even know my own number right now. I have two cell phones; one is my new business cell phone and the other my personal phone that has been with me for about ten years. My business cell number is on my email signature so I don’t have to give it out to anyone. I’ve had it a month, and I have no idea what the number is. Last week I was on the phone in my office, and the person I was talking to asked me for my business cell phone number. I quickly picked up my business cell, called my personal cell and read them the number as it appeared on my personal cell as it rang as the incoming call. How personally pathetic is that? Innovative. Quick thinking. And yes, pathetic.

I am a really busy person. I’m not an important person, but I am very busy especially now with the new job, moving to LA, finding Pet Jets for my dog, becoming Obama Mini Me and other personal goals. Why I decided I needed to do the following needs to be explored with a shrink if I had time for one.

I decided to memorize five new phone numbers a week. That was three weeks ago. So far, not so good. I have not memorized any yet. Here is what I have done many times since I decided to try this experiment. “I’m so sorry, I must have dialed the wrong number.” And,  I haven’t made some calls I wanted to make because when I dialed what I thought was their number twice, I gave up and went onto something else.

I know it’s a reach to say that my Partzeimers (my version of Alzheimers, I have it partially) is based on technology taking away the need to memorize phone numbers. I know that I have to take personal responsibility for my Diet Coke addiction and it’s repercussions, but I also would love to start remembering phone numbers to give credence to my relationship with my friends and colleagues.

How about you all answer your phones when I call, “Hey Chris, it’s 917.648.7182?” Support me in my endeavors to be a stronger memory person.

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