Britons are becoming increasingly reliant on data stored on their mobile phones, to the extent where most cannot remember their best friend’s phone number off by heart, new research has found.
A study by insurance and identity protection firm CPP claims that millions of Brits are suffering from ‘numerical amnesia’ because of their reliance on data stored on their mobiles .
A survey of more than 2,000 UK adults revealed that over 60 per cent do not know their friend’s mobile number off by heart, and nearly half (47 per cent) cannot remember their partner’s number.
Each adult participant was put through an online memory test to assess their ability to recall sequences of numbers. The test showed that four out of five people were unable to remember a mobile phone number after only five seconds of seeing it.
Nearly two thirds (67 per cent) of those questioned also said they were concerned about losing the number stored on their mobile handset, yet only 43 per cent said they had backed up this data in a traditional address book.
Commenting on the findings, Michael Lynch from CPP said: “Brits’ inability to recall numbers of their nearest and dearest means that many could be in a very tricky and distressing situation if their phone is lost or stolen, if they have no idea how to contact someone for help. This shows us that mobiles have literally become people’s lifelines.”
Psychologist Glenn Wilson added: “As technology gets more sophisticated, our own memories are on the decline as we increasingly rely on information stored on phones and online.”
“While this reliance can be problematic if people are totally dependent on an external memory store that is lost or becomes temporarily unavailable, it can also affect an individual’s mental agility later in life.”
“Like many other skills, memory needs exercising if the capacity is not to be lost.”