In this era of smart phones and always-available Google searches, I wonder, how many phone numbers do we all actually recall any more? How many do we actually have committed to memory? After all, as soon as we’re given a number, we add it to our contacts — and then we never directly dial it ever again.
I know my home phone number, my own cell number and my wife’s cell number. I know my work phone number and the main number for my employer — but only because those haven’t changed in over 15 years. I know my father’s phone number and I know my parents-in-laws’ home phone number. I know the phone number of the pizza place two and a half miles from my house. I know the number of a friend in North Carolina whose number inexplicably has stuck in my brain all these years. I know the phone number of the Duke University Lemur Center.
And, to be totally honest, I think that’s about all the phone numbers I know.
If I was in an accident and damaged my cell phone beyond repair, and if rescue personnel or doctors needed to contact someone for me, I’d be stuck if my wife and her parents and my father didn’t answer. When an EMT asked “do you have anyone else we can contact?” I doubt the phone number of Papa McKee’s Pizza would really be what they were looking for.