Ran across the following on Reuters.
Remember your home phone number? Forget it!
LONDON (Reuters) – Can’t remember life before mobiles? Chances are you’ll also struggle to recall your home phone number and family birthdays.
According to a survey released Friday, the boom in mobiles and portable devices that store reams of personal information has created a generation incapable of memorizing simple things.
A quarter of those polled said they couldn’t remember their landline number, while two-thirds couldn’t recall the birthdays of more than three friends or family members.
The tech-savvy young fared worse than older people. The under-30s could remember fewer birthdays and numbers than the over-50s, according to the survey.
Two-thirds said they relied on their phone or electronic organizer to remember key dates.
“People have more to remember these days and they are relying on technology more for their memory,” said Ian Robertson, professor of psychology at Trinity College, Dublin.
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What about the folks between 30 and 50? What do they remember? (Or did the pollsters forget to poll those folks??)
I believe (though I can’t verify) that Einstein was quoted as saying that he didn’t memorize his phone number because he wouldn’t be bothered to memorize something that he can look up.
(I use that philosophy often in my work doing income taxes – no I bloody well don’t have the tax tables memorized).