The generation of shrinking memory

I remember my mom’s address book. It was a generic, black faux leather binder with “Addresses” in gold foil across the front. Inside was everything from addresses, birthdays, phone numbers, and other bits of information that she couldn’t remember or didn’t want to forget. Heaven forbid someone would move, and she’d have to cross out the old address and hope there was room for the new one. And hopefully she would remember to look up the grandchildrens’ birthdays before their birthday, or that card (and check) was going to be late. There were always Post-It notes and envelopes stuck inside with information that hadn’t been recorded on the tabbed pages, yet – and may not ever be recorded there.

Now, in the technology age, we don’t have to remember any of that information that was so carefully written in the Address Book. Outlook, iCalendar, and Facebook have taken their place, and the information is synced and saved in the Cloud…

And we wonder why kids can’t remember their times tables or how to spell words like “definitely.”


9 thoughts on “The generation of shrinking memory

  1. I thought definitely was spelled defiantly. ;) Really, there a few numbers I remember but you’re so right. But again I have forgotten how to spell in general. Did you ever see my post on my editing issues? I swear, I have issues. I am SURE you have students smarter than me.

    BTW I am going to be in P, but I won’t be able to meet for drinks because I am coming in Saturday for the party leaving Sunday. Next time I am up for sure. You have my email? or the one listed below.


  2. Some very good points here, Kelli. It also makes me feel old because I had an address book just like that for years and I can also remember the days BEFORE Post-it notes! Whatever did we do without them? I still use those now! I have seen them stuck all over computers, often with passwords on them – things people don’t find easy to remember – how’s that for security!

      • I’ve never had a good memory and the fast pace of modern life doesn’t help but I am grateful for the diary on my phone, which means I can alarm important things. I even alarm things like ‘leave the Avon book outside’ – my Avon lady got very upset when I kept forgetting the due day and I went out without leaving it. I alarm any changes to my usual schedule, too. I think memories will get worse as people don’t need to use them. It is supposed to be possible to improve them with training, so it is logical that the opposite is true and lack of use makes them deteriorate.

        When we moved house to a different area, we were given a beautiful address book but it was never used, so we gave it to a charity shop. I hope someone got some use and pleasure out of it.

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