There was a time, many aeons ago, when lyrics of my favourite songs roamed freely in my memory, ready to flow into song whenever I wanted. There were ready records of phone numbers of friends and family that I could rattle off at will. Birthdays and anniversaries were etched in my grey matter, giving me the joy of wishing dear ones on their special days.
Cut to now. There is a song that has been eluding me from this morning. It sits at the edge of my memory and teases me. I know that I can pick up my phone and look for it on the internet, but just for once I want to recollect and download it from that once sharp memory. As I walk briskly, I furrow my brows, as if that act will somehow help me remember. I give up after a while.
Has my memory been transferred to my phone? It is a shocking possibility. My phone holds my calendar, appointments, birthdays and anniversaries lists, mobile numbers, landline numbers, sticky notes, songs, voice recordings, news, weather reports, kids’ schedules, shoppings lists, book lists and many other things. Is there anything that I really need to remember on my own? Will I eventually lose my ability to remember even simple things without my phone? Seems quite plausible.
No wonder people clutch their phones as if their very existence depends on it. Wherever one goes, people are tapping into their alternative phone memories for simple, everyday tasks.
Such problems did not exist a few decades ago – a time when my mom could easily quote recipes and lists, where my dad never forgot where he kept anything, where my gran could recollect and narrate hundreds of stories from Indian mythology to keep us engaged.
Somewhere between then and now, our phones have hijacked our memories. And, sigh! The song is still teasing me from the edges of my memory.