real life

I don't know my fiance's phone number.

It’s not a great thing when accidents happen.

My fiance’s name is Darren.

I call Darren a ridiculous number of times a day. He is in my phone just as Darren, but each time I go to call him, I just hit D in contacts or “recent calls”.

Recently, I left my mobile at home accidentally as I raced to work. When I got there I realised I don’t know my fiance’s number.

It made me realise I don’t know my three best friend’s phone numbers either.  Or my brother’s.  In fact, I’m so dependent on my smart phone, I hardly know anyone’s numbers off by heart.

I only know my parents’ number because they were smart and created a mobile number that uses the landline number from the house we lived in growing up.

So I had to ring my parents, in Queensland, to ask them to ring Darren so he could bring me my phone.

What struck me though is how incredibly unsafe that is.

Remember when you knew everyone’s phone numbers off by heart?

If I was attacked and robbed I couldn’t call Darren to look after me.  Or if I was hit by a car and my phone smashed I wouldn’t be able to call him to let him know where the ambulance was taking me.  Or if I was kidnapped and I escaped and ran to a farm house to use their land line I wouldn’t know what number to dial to call him (okay maybe I watch too many movies).

Man on smart phone doesn’t see whale. Is all of us.

I typed “Do you know know your husband’s phone number?” into google and got one million responses along the lines of “Three ways to find out if your husband is cheating”.  Hmmm not what I was looking for.

I then typed in “women safety memorise phone numbers” and got 17 million responses about domestic violence.  So it is an important safety issue.

Darren proposing to Shelly. Surely this man’s digits are worth remembering?

I asked around the office and was surprised to find hardly anyone knew important numbers off by heart anymore like we did as kids.  Are smart phones making us dumb?

“I know the first home phone number we had when we were kids back in the 80’s.  Before the “9” was introduced even. But I actually don’t know my own landline. It’s stored in my mobile under HOME and I  never use it,” says Shauna.

‘I’m in a relationship with my smart phone’

“I only know my own and my childhood landline number,” says Alexis.

“If I was taken to hospital with no phone, I would have no way to get in touch with anyone,” says Kahla.

“I know my parents’ home phone number and that is it,” says Alex.  “But I can still remember my childhood home phone!”

“I only my husband’s number, but that’s because I met him before iPhones,” says Alys.

“If I had a partner I’d maybe make an effort to learn his number off by heart. But considering I still don’t know my housemates’ numbers after 3.5 years of living together I doubt I’d actually do it,” says Kahla.

Some were better at it.

“I am really great at memorising numbers I know my whole families, my ex-boyfriend and school friends who I haven’t spoken to in years,” says Caitlin.

“I only know my parents’ mobiles and my fiance’s! But I had to sit down and study them,” says Candice.

We get children to rote learn addresses and phone numbers. Maybe it’s time we did it as adults too.

Do you know important numbers off my heart?