If you need more proof that our phones keep getting smarter but our brains keep getting dumber, just try to remember someone’s number other than your own.
And no, your mom doesn’t count.
It’s easy to forget things that our phones do for us everyday, which is just one of the myriad reasons why we have separation anxiety whenever we (God forbid) leave it home. You can’t get anywhere, you can’t reach anyone and now your friend thinks you hate her because you didn’t wish her a happy birthday. It’s a mess.
In the spirt of being self-aware — and hopefully to prevent these things from leaving our minds forever — here’s a look at just nine things you probably forgot how to do. Don’t worry, there’s still time to work on these skills before they implant the smart phone chips directly into our brains.
1. Phone Numbers
The most obvious one. You used to be able to cite all your closest friends’ and family’s phone number by heart. Now you have to look up your own significant other’s number in your phone when asked to write down an emergency contact. Hey, what’s the number for the pizza place we order from every Friday? Oh, that’s right, we order on Seamless.
She’s even more confused because she’s still using a flip phone.
Facebook has taken all the guesswork out of remembering when people are born. Does a generic “Happy birthday” message on someone’s wall really mean anything when a push notification made you do it? Or how about when Facebook tells you it’s like five people’s birthdays and you just wish them all a happy birthday at once. You even use copy/paste because you’re too lazy to write “Happy Birthday” over and over again. Where’s the genuine sentiment in that?
3. Long Division
Remember when your middle school math teacher said you need to learn this stuff because you’re not going to carry a calculator around with you at all times? Well, try remembering how to divide numbers on paper and you’ll be thankful that literally every cell phone comes with a calculator app. Figuring out the tip? There’s an app for that. Dividing bills between roommates? There’s an app for that. Until the day comes when someone threatens to kill you unless you tell them the area of an isosceles right triangle, you’re probably going to be okay.
“Don’t break out the iPhone in front of the class. Don’t break out the iPhone in front of the class…”
4. How To Write A Check
Thanks to Paypal, Apple Pay and apps like Venmo, paper checks are becoming part of the analog past. Do you have to write “and zero cents” on the amount line? What’s the memo space for again? And you’re telling me I have to physically go to the bank? Luckily it’s cool if you forget to sign the back of one when trying to cash it because now you can just take a picture of it on your phone and then rip it up.
5. How To Write In Cursive
You might be able to sign your name all right, but try writing a lowercase, cursive “K” or “Z” and you’ll think it looks all wrong. Kids today don’t even have to learn cursive in some schools, which is a bit sad. We all had to suffer through it so why shouldn’t they? But in all likelihood, texting classes will be the next big thing and we’ll soon evolve to have long, muscular thumbs as our primary communication digit.
6. Literally Just Writing In General
This one is a little embarrassing. Have you noticed what your handwriting looks like lately? If you’ve been spending most of your time using a computer or phone, it’s horrible. That beautiful penmanship of your teens has been replaced with barely legible chicken scratch and your hand hurts from writing after one or two pages. Good grief.
7. Giving Directions
If someone invites you to meet them at a bar or restaurant and the first question you have is, “How do I get there?” you probably won’t like your friend’s response. Okay, a simple “What train is it near?” is acceptable, but you know you’re just going to have to Google it to get the exact directions. The same goes for giving directions to strangers who stop you on the street. Chances are, if they’re asking, they either don’t have their phone on them, it’s dead, or they’re using Apple’s impossible maps application.
“I told you we should have just paid AT&T for the international plan.”
8. How To Wait For Someone In Public
Instead of someone saying, “Meet me by the fountain at 3:00,” and you not hearing from them until you meet them there, you now receive up-to-the-minute updates from the person you’re going to meet and will know their exact location. You can barely remember what it’s like to have to stand around silently, looking at nothing in particular and letting your thoughts wander because you’re too busy listening to a podcast, playing Candy Crush and tracking your friend’s whereabouts. Did that cute stranger just say hi to you? Who cares, you just got a new Tinder match.
9. How To Spell Tricky Words Without Looking Them Up
Spellcheck, predictive text and its quirky sibling “speech to text” make it pretty much impossible to remember how to spell words like “Receipt,” “Pneumonia,” and, ironically, “Misspell” (that second “s” just always looks weird). “I before E” goes out the window when you have squiggly red lines to tell you what’s wrong. Combine this with #5 and the future isn’t looking too hot for the actually written word. Thanks, technology!
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