Friday, September 23, 2016

The numbers of our time

I remember a time when I was young.  Young is a relative term.  I mean, when I was a child.  When cell phones were not invented and the telephone had one line for the whole family to use.  Heck, I remember dialing with the old phone where you have to put your finger in the slot and rotate for each number.  Then technology improved.  No more "dialing".  I could click the button in the order of the number and voila!  There was no such thing as autodial then.  Most of my teen years, when I fell in love with the phone, is when I used to call often.  Dial often.  The same number.  Over and over again.  Guess what happens when you dial the same number everyday, several times a day.  Yes, I was one of those teens!
Anyway, apart from trying to explain to your friend's mom why you need to call again or explain to your parents why you live on the phone, something else happens.  You memorize the number without trying to.  Funny thing.  You didn't just memorize the number, you memorized the pattern to dial that number.  What do you call that?  Muscle memory? It's like typing really but it's the muscle memory of a sequence.  How long does that last?  Well, here I am, over 30 years later setting up the new iPhone 7.  Well, the number pass code has been extended to 6 digits.  I could revert back to the 4 I had before, but 6 is good.  Better security, right?  What six digits am I going to use?
I could be prosaic and do my birthdate and have any Tom, Dick or Harry unlock my phone in an instant.  I went through all the "significant" dates of my life and thought about them in reverse as well.  I thought to myself.  No!  It's got to be a number that has no significance to my current life and one I can remember.  So, as I scan through my number deck on my mind, I come across friend's phone numbers that I had dialed when I was younger.  I still remember them.  I also remember the dialing pattern.  Funny thing.  I remember the dialing pattern more than the number on one of the numbers.  I have to visualize the number pad and go through the pattern to access the number.
Today, I'm thinking as I write this blog about all the numbers that I remember.  I know my cell number.  That's a start.  I know my parent's home telephone number.  I actually, strangely, remember the cell number of one of my cousins.  Just one!  I don't know how.  I think I know my husband's cell number.  The numbers I used to dial often in my 30s by memory, like my brother's home number or my nephew's cell in India, are no longer present in my memory banks.  How is it that my memory maintains a number from 30 years ago, but can't from one, 10 years ago?  I don't know how these things work.  They just do and I find it all fascinating.
While I was musing on the numbers of our time, I thought I would muse with you.  So, thank you for sitting with me on this journey of numbers, and I hope you all are having a fabulous day.  Talk soon,


No comments:

Post a Comment