“I Still Remember My Childhood Phone Number” Club

How many numbers can we remember anymore? I used to remember mine, my mother’s at work, my father’s at work, my grandmother’s, my best friends, and her other line. I remember the number of the car service, movie theater, weather (remember we could call to check the weather?) I also knew the phone number of the school. I knew my credit card number by heart. Most shocking to me now is that I USED ONE CREDIT CARD.

Our brains are not being exercised as much. Our bodies are also now being contorted into shapes with our heads held down, our thumbs atrophied from over-texting. Our children are growing up with new vernacular and their brains are bending in different ways. Our parents had to regulate candy and cocaine and we have to temper technology temptation.

We went to the library, used microfiche (why!?), sorted through card catalogs, touched different textures and engaged with life in a more tangible way. The other day I bought an ice cream cone in a retro ice cream shoppe on New York’s Lower East Side. With rudimentary decor, children’s art on the walls, flavors written in chalk, I was in a sweet nostalgic cloud until it was time to pay. The cashier turned her iPad register around and had me push to pay, sign, and reject or request a receipt. Then a message comes up with a smiley face that says, “have a nice day.” 

We all know it’s important to stretch our muscles in order for them to stay limber, or brains most importantly. They tell us to do crossword puzzles and sudoku for brain health. Even video games are great for agility (not too long or else you’ll feel like you’re on acid). I wonder the affects on my children having to rely on one device for everything. Will their minds become programmed to think less, relying on Google and Siri as their Cliff Notes to life?

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