Yup, so I did it again.
It was back on Oct. 4 — I had another of those dyslexic, forgetful, foolish days.
In the car on the way to the airport I decided it was time to set a security code on my cell phone. And, no, I wasn’t driving — I have a hard enough time multitasking when I’m sitting safely in one place.
Anyway, in the past I’ve had luck with the pattern feature where you slide your finger over a pattern of dots you set in order to gain access to the wonders of the cell phone universe. I’m somewhat of a visual thinker so the pattern thing is usually pretty good for me. Some sort of color-coded do-dad would be even better.
But before I continue, a caveat: It was dark (before 6:30 a.m.) and I was functioning (or not) on cold- and stress-induced sleep deprivation. Both SO and I had colds so if it wasn’t his coughing keeping us up, it was my headache or worry … but, enough about that.
Anywho, I set a pattern and promptly forgot it. Not kidding. However, I was pretty sure I hadn’t turned the security lock on. I was able to get my boarding pass up on the phone, after all. But as soon as I got on the plane, I discovered I was wrong. I spent at least half the flight trying to crack the code to no avail. Crap those damn things are good!
It’s the bike lock all over again (see The stupid things I do thanks to my ADDled brain).
Got to Salt Lake City for a layover where the wi-fi is free. I spent about a half hour live chatting on my laptop with a Verizon representative about how I might get my phone unlocked.
It’s complicated and I won’t bore you with the technical details. Suffice to say, I wrote much of this on the plane to New York and didn’t know how I was going to call my parents when I got there. I hoped there was a pay phone somewhere. Remember those? In the meantime, I wrote emails to my parents and brother explaining my dilemma and suggested they call me at a certain time since I was still able to receive calls, I just couldn’t make them.
So that worked out.
But I guess I should have gone with my intuition and gotten a new phone BEFORE I left for New York. It would have at least saved me a bit of stress and definitely sales tax. But well, I guess I’m happy with my new phone and my new plan, but Jeez — why does so much of my life seem to revolve around losing and searching for things?
Perhaps I can take comfort in knowing I’m not alone.
According to a recent poll by The Trending Machine of 800 American adults, approximately 39% of them had forgotten or misplaced a common everyday item in the previous week. Surprisingly millennial (defined as people aged 18 to 34) were two to three times more likely to forget or misplace something than “seniors” (defined as 55 or older — I’m not quite there yet, but close — am I really almost a senior?). Millennials were more twice as likely to forget even what day of the week it is — really?
Even with my current no-set-schedule lifestyle (yes, freelancing has its perks), I don’t typically forget what day it is or to bathe, for goodness sakes!
The Trending Machine consulted Patricia Gutentag, a leading family and occupational therapist, about this phenomenon. Her response?
“Stress! Stress often leads to forgetfulness, depression and poor judgment,” she told them.
And even more interesting (at least to me), “We find higher rates of ADHD diagnoses in young adults,” Gutentag reported.
Millennials grew up in the fast-paced multitasking world of mobile technology. They are expected to and seem to enjoy being omnipresently connected. Combine those demands with the stresses of everyday life and a probably lack of sleep and you get brains that just don’t function optimally.
I’m curious about you, dear readers. How often do you forget, misplace or lose things?
My question for any psychiatrists, neurologists or clinical therapists out there who research this sort of stuff: I know from personal experience that ADHD is caused by a particular brain chemistry. I also understand that brain chemistry can change through behavioral patterning and experiences. So if that’s the case, are we cultivating a culture of ADHD so that at some point the “disorder” will become the norm?
I sure hope not.
Not because I like having this distinction (if you will), but because I don’t enjoy the struggles I endure because of it. I think the world would be a better place if we slowed down and learned to enjoy each other for who we really are, rather than looking to our cyber-friends for instant gratification. Just saying.
Stay peaceful all.