In something of a followup to the study last month that people who lost their mobile phone were at risk of losing friends because phones had become de facto address books, the NY Times takes a deeper look at why people don't remember phone numbers any more -- including the fact that seven digits doesn't cut it any more, and it's more difficult to remember 10 digits than seven. However, the one thing that seems odd about both stories is they miss the most obvious reason why people don't necessarily back up their list of phone numbers. In the past, the phone number was the one way that you could get in contact with someone quickly. These days, however, with email and instant messaging (among others), there are many ways to get in touch with someone. Losing a phone number shouldn't cut you off from friends. It just cuts off one path temporarily, but can likely be solved pretty easily.
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