Here’s some news from the wholly unsurprising vault: most people don’t bother learning phone numbers off by heart anymore. We probably already knew this, but now there’s statistical proof in the form of a survey of over 2,000 Brits.
Almost half of the British people polled by ResearchNow last month didn’t even know their partner’s phone number by heart – I’m pretty pleased to say I’m not one of that 47%, although my boyfriend is (sigh).
More traditional numbers like your home number (92% could recall) and parents’ landline (60%) seem better embedded in the long-term memory. Over 60% could not reel off a friend’s mobile number, which I wouldn’t be too worried about – did anyone ever bother memorising friends’ numbers even before mobile phones?
But the fact that essential phone numbers, like our partners’ and families’, are trapped in a piece of equipment that’s prone to being lost, stolen or dying through lack of charge, means we could find ourselves in quite a pickle one of these days. It’s another sign that we’re increasingly – some might say worryingly – reliant on our mobile phones for everything from getting us from A to B, to storing important information.
Some psychologists are even concerned that relying on our handsets will lead to a decrease in mental agility as we age. One psychologist, Glenn Wilson, said “As technology gets more sophisticated, our own memories are on the decline as we increasingly rely on in information stored on phones and online. Like many other skills, memory needs exercising if the capacity is not to be lost.”