Remembering Digits

My memory is interesting. By the age of three, I had memorized the names and order of the United States Presidents. Throughout my childhood, my parents would marvel at details I could remember from years prior. Presently, people ask me to recall how a certain event was arranged or what was served at a specific dinner because they know I am usually spot on.

But then there was the day a few months ago when my debit card pin number vanished from my mind as I was trying to make a purchase. Or the recent unfortunate incident when I got to the gym in the morning and couldn’t for the life of me recall my locker combination. Or just this past weekend when Sidney asked me the name of an instructor and I drew a complete blank.

Needless to say, my memory is sometimes very good and sometimes very bad. I would still say though that for the most part I have an above average memory. However, there is one area where my memory consistently fails me (or perhaps I fail it).

Besides my own personal cell numbers over the years, I haven’t memorized the cell number of someone else since 2004. Why 2004? That was the year I received my first cell phone. Up until that point I would dial the cell numbers of my mom and my best friend in high school from our landline frequently. I still remember those two numbers by heart and I still call my mom using hers (as opposed to pulling up her name and pressing “send”).

Since then, I haven’t logged cell phone numbers inside my brain. Why would I, right? We have contact lists programmed into our phones for a reason.

But perhaps I shouldn’t just blame the lack of 10-digit strings of numbers in my brain on technology. While the person’s name substitutes for the actual number most of the time, we all get glimpses of the physical number every now and then, especially if we are close to an actual person. For example, whenever we open up a contact in our phone their number is displayed. Also, from time to time we all have people ask us for the phone number of the people we are close to. If we don’t just share the contact via our iPhones, this causes us to actually look at and recite/write down the number.

I suppose that if my memory really was worth a darn like I said above, I probably should have memorized the numbers of my brother, sister, dad, and fiancé by now. It is a sad reality that out of these four people, the closest I get to remembering their numbers off the top of my head is the first six digits (area code plus first three numbers) of two of them.

Recently, Sidney asked me if I could take time and memorize her number. She explained that it was more for emergency purposes than anything. By writing this blog post, I know for a fact that I will have it memorized by the time this night is over. Perhaps I will try and cement the digits of some of the other people on the list as well.

Do you remember cell phone numbers? Maybe you are like me and consider it an outdated practice. Maybe you have a little more pride and employ an operator in your head. Whatever your opinion, I think I can admit that Sidney does have a very valid point. There will be situations where we won’t always be able to rely on our personal phones to recall numbers. Don’t Blink.