Technology is hurting our memories

There was a time that I could remember everything. If I committed myself to be somewhere, even months in advance, my memory would remember on the appropriate day.
If I made an appointment, that too was remembered.
I tried to rely on my memory in school and, for most part, it served me well. On a history or English exam, I may not have remembered the exact points the essay was calling for, but I would write enough about the subject skirting the primary points that most teachers would award me enough marks that my grades looked quite good.
My university profs were not so gentle.
As time has moved forward, I find that my mind no longer wants to remember those dates and times. Instead, my memory would just as soon have me somewhere else as keep to a schedule.
My wife claims that when I am in a zone, and totally focused on a task, nothing else will enter. And on more than one occasion, that zoning has prompted a telephone call to remind me of an appointment.
To compensate for forgetting things, I began writing the times and dates down on a note-pad. As long as I didn’t lose the note-pad, I made those dates.
I then began trying to keep a day-timer. I began with a little black book that I could carry in my shirt pocket. I would go through at least two a year, putting the timer down somewhere and losing it.
I then had to put all the addresses back into it, along with phone numbers, and try and create my schedule again.
When September arrived in any year, I had to start carrying two day-timers—one for the current year and a second for the coming year. Eventually I found one that ran for 18 months.
I reached the point that in case I lost one organizer, I had a second larger day-timer on my desk.
Several years ago, I replaced the day-timer with a Palm Pilot that I could write my notes, my schedule, and my to-do messages that daily would remind me of what I was expected to do next. It never was lost.
At a meeting if I left it, the Palm Pilot would be returned. It was too expensive to be left behind.
And daily that electronic device would synchronize itself with my day-planner on my computer desk top. The two are really handy. All of my addresses are located in two locations.
I can begin typing a first or last name and my desktop will immediately flash me people’s e-mail, telephone numbers, and mailing addresses.
In fact, I can save an e-mail address directly to my address book.
Technology is great. My particular address book can search for a name by city, by business, by address, first or last name, and more. So even if I can’t remember the person’s first or last name, I still stand a chance of getting their phone number or e-mail.
However, as with all technology, I wonder if these marvelous memory devices are allowing my mind to choose not to remember all those details.
If I complete all the tasks on my to-do list for a given day, does that mean that I didn’t create enough tasks or that I forgot to write one of them down. Should any day-timer allow for free time to do nothing?
Are we structuring our lives too much?
If I forget to look at the day-timer and forget to do something, can I blame the computer for not ringing the warning loud enough?
And I wonder, if I can’t seem to remember as many telephone numbers as I once could, is that a sign that my memory is failing?
Or if I have forgotten to record a date or appointment, is that a sign that I really didn’t want to go to attend to it? Or is it that I am just becoming more selective in what I choose to remember?

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