So many security codes & numbers, so little memory PDF E-mail

Hardly a day goes by when I don’t question myself by asking, “Am I losing my mind?”

It seems as I’ve grown older that self question comes up more frequently than just once a day. But a comment recently really got me thinking more deeply about this lost mind business and after a few more minutes of shallow pondering, I’ve come up with what I believe is the contribution to my mind loss.

The way I got it figured, figures are at the root of why I’m questioning myself. Now, when I mention figures, I’m not talking about those pleasant 36-24-36 figures. Instead, I’m concerned about the numbers, codes and passwords I’m required to retain in my mind just to be able to function in the lifestyle of today. Simply put, the old noggin is operating at over capacity.

Back in days of yore our security revolved around keys and padlocks that required very little memory, except where you might have mislaid the key. Businesses had heavy safes that held money, documents and other important records. Those safes generally had a simple combination the owner could remember and if he couldn’t, a slip of paper taped on the bottom of his office desk drawer would reveal that combination.

Our obsession with security began to grow, and soon padlocks with combinations followed and were used for securing bikes, school lockers and shed doors. Remembering more numbers became commonplace and has continued to grow generation after generation as more technology became a part of our lives.

Today, our mind is jumbled. We are expected to hold in our minds our Social Security number, pin numbers, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, house numbers, zip plus four numbers, door and garage door opener numbers as well as a host of password numbers or codes. No one cares how to spell your name, “Just give me your number,” is the common request today.

I understand there might be relief in sight for a guy like me. I’ve been told there are services available where you can file your passwords for a fee and the information is available only to you or those you designate. Another suggestion is to put your password for important personal data in your will that is held at your attorney’s office.

Of course the next question then becomes . . . will I be stable enough when the time comes to remember the name of the service or attorney that is the holder of such information?

I guess that will be the heirs’ and the government’s problem, not mine.

Here’s a simpler solution yet – live life to its fullest and leave nothing important enough or valuable enough to require the need for numbers or passwords.

RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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