[M.A.P.L.E. V-15] Remembering dates

I figured that I might try pulling from my small compendium of old newspaper articles tonight, in order to inspire a blog post. This article that I want to reflect on is from April 17, 2014, from the “Commentary” page of the Chicago Tribune.

In this article, it mentioned the potential failures of electronic calendars. The writer’s list of anniversaries and birthdays were all of a sudden deleted, except for her nephew’s birthday.

The article also mentions how phones and other electronic devices allow people to forget “basic” things such as anniversaries, phone numbers, or even arithmetic (using the calculator applications).

My long-term memory is strong enough to remember the birthdays of everyone in my immediate family, as well as those of my closest friends and cousins. However, for many other friends and acquaintances, I rely pretty heavily on the Facebook notifications to remember their birthdays.

When I was younger, I was able to remember the phone numbers of quite a few of my friends, in the days before cell phones. Though the phones had Speed-Dial at that point, my parents didn’t show me how to program numbers into that speed-dial.

But now, I have difficulty recalling phone numbers excluding my own and the ones in my family. Even though I have several friends that I call on a regular basis, I would not be able to recite their phone numbers from memory, since I call them on my cell phone.

However, it might be a good idea to back up some of the important information in a journal, notebook, or other non-electronic medium. This might also help if, heaven forbid, I lose my cell phone or it breaks again.

I still do many things without the phone or technology, such as writing journals and using a planner.

The article also mentions the diffusion of the word “friend,” in the sense as follows:

“Facebook lets us keep track of friends’ birthdays, but because I got some bad advice when I joined Facebook years ago… I accepted thousands of ‘friend’ requests from people I don’t actually know. Now I have thousands for ‘friends’ I couldn’t pick out of a lineup, making it messy to keep track of real ones.”

I have mentioned before on my blog that I don’t accept friend requests on Facebook from people that I have never met in person before. However, even though I have met a lot of people in person, that doesn’t automatically make them friends. It’s an ongoing task to categorize my Facebook friends into true friends versus passing acquaintances versus family members versus others.

This article was a little over two years old, but it still brings up some good points. It is very easy to let a machine take over one’s capacity for memory, and make it too easy when, indeed, it’s not so easy.

It makes me concerned about where things are heading in general… but for now, I won’t worry about it, and will just go make some stir fry for dinner!


Today is the fifteenth day of the fifth round of M.A.P.L.E. That makes two weeks and one day.

היום שניים ועשרים יום-שהם שלושה שבועות ויום אחד לעומר

Tourney Times: 6 days.

Rochester: 12 days.

Kenosha: 17 days.

Twenty-Nine: 49 days.

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