The Death of Remembering Stuff

My favorite podcast is Buzz Out Loud, and one of the recurring themes on BOL is regarding the information age and what we know. They talk about how, because of the information age, we don’t have to remember anything anymore. In this context it pays to know how to look stuff up rather than actually remember stuff.

I can seriously see this in my own life. For example, I personally know only a few phone numbers. And in almost every case they are numbers that I have known since childhood. I know the first number I ever learned, (our house number when I was in kindergarten, 669-1827 about 25 houses ago) my dad, Grammaw & Paw, Pops & Granny, my best friend from high school, my uncle [only because it is one digit different from the previous one], and my current phone number. Numbers I call regularly, like my brother, my mom, or my pastor I have no clue about. Also, thanks to DVR technology, I don’t know when TV shows I like come on. I don’t know so many things that would have been necessary knowledge a generation ago. I do have a handful of passwords memorized, which wouldn’t have mattered a generation ago, but 6 passwords probably encompasses all of the websites I login to [log into, or log in to] regularly.

And I am not the only one experiencing this phenomenon. The other day, John McLamb blogged about computer / internet dependence and Bible Study.

“So what’s the big deal?” you say. “You have the technology, embrace it.” Obviously I have embraced it, but I’m afraid it will lead to a certain mental laziness. Specifically I am afraid that I will become lazy with the Scriptures.

Here’s my plan. I intend to begin a regular schedule of memorizing scripture. I will not just learn scattershot verses from all over the Bible, but I will learn passages. In the past I have learned passages. (mostly because seminary professors required me to.) This is an incredibly rewarding exercise. First you learn the very words of God, secondly they become a part of you as you learn them thoroughly, and third, you are just so proud of yourself when you can quote a large passage of scripture. My plan is to learn them well enough to know the entire passage versified. I’m not what sure what pace I will work at, probably one verse per week. But I will begin with Titus 3:5-8.

All of my readers are encouraged to join me. But you don’t have to. I just wanted to make my plan public so I would feel like a jerk for not following through.