I only know two phone numbers by heart, my parent’s and my best friend’s parent’s number. I don’t even know my own phone number! I keep fumbling around trying to fetch it from my own phone while people patiently wait for me to tell them, making me look like an ass. While I might have always been bad at memorization of any sort, having a smart phone has not helped. I take notes on the phone, add important dates on the calendar and without my phone, I’m totally lost.
I was talking to my dad a few weeks ago and he asked me if I added everything to my calendar on the phone, I said: “But, of course! You should too!” Yet, my remark was met with a: “I don’t think it’s a good idea. I would become lazy and I’m afraid I would stop exercising my brain.” Not that, that is possible. My dad has this photographic memory only a lucky few are gifted to posses. But, on second though, he might be right. I might be making my brain lazy by relying so much on my phone.
However, although I might be becoming worse at memorization, I have become more efficient in other areas, as have my Spanish students who whip out their phones in class and use their dictionaries to find words quickly. In so doing, they waste less time thumbing through a big old dictionary, losing their train of thought. This way then can focus on communicating and the task at hand. Some even take pictures of the white-board instead of writing down notes. They are actively, 100% with me.
Maybe, smart phones help us spend less time on menial memorizing tasks and help us to focus on the much more creative and analytical side of our brains.
What do you think?