I have a dictionary in my pocket right now. An encyclopedia, too. And a list of every episode of Star Trek. It’s not a big deal – many of you have the same things in your pockets, too. It’s just a cell phone with an Internet connection, but it has become more than that. It’s a kind of extra brain, a second memory.

I have a dictionary in my pocket right now. An encyclopedia, too. And a list of every episode of Star Trek. It’s not a big deal – many of you have the same things in your pockets, too. It’s just a cell phone with an Internet connection, but it has become more than that. It’s a kind of extra brain, a second memory.


Whenever there is something I don’t know, I immediately reach for my phone. It’s a reflex. Things that I know I should remember, like where my friend lives or how to spell "restaurant," are no longer in my head. They are in my phone. It seems like this arrangement would free up lots of valuable space in my brain, but I’m not so sure.


Just a few years ago, before I started walking around with constant Internet access, I used to wonder about things. I remember very clearly an agonizing half hour spent with buddies trying to remember that one punter’s name. You know – he kicked for the Cowboys maybe 10 years ago. We all knew his name, of course we did. But it took real work to remember it. When someone finally blurted out "Toby Gowin," we all shared a mixture of relief and embarrassment. I’m not going to forget that experience soon, nor am I likely to forget Toby’s name again. The last information I looked up on my phone? I have no idea.


Wondering about things is becoming a lost art among people my age. We are so used to having facts always at our fingertips that we are losing the ability to figure things out for ourselves. Picking the right things to remember and developing the tools to find them again are two of the keystones to a strong mind. It is pretty cool to have access to unlimited information all the time, but when that access becomes a crutch that keeps our minds from working at full strength, it might be time to reconsider. Maybe one brain, properly maintained, should be enough.



Happy birthday Tuesday to Kerry Proffitt of Whitesboro; Keegan Tate Russey and Manuel Morales, both of Denison; Kendra Eddington, Mary Joyce Patterson and Kevin Hill Jr., all of Sherman; Paul Bishop of Cartwright, Okla.; Charles Vick of Savoy; Leo Geer of Durant, Okla; Jordan Arrington and Tim Arrington, both of Gunter; Pam Scott of Cherry Valley, Ill.; Mike Lewis of Colbert, Okla.; and Christy Reding of Denison and her daughter, Danielle Ault of Lewisville.


Happy anniversary Tuesday to Danny Ray Farris and Valrie Woods Farris of Sherman, 1 year.