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Memory Space Full- TWO phone numbers are all we can remember by heart

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Mobile phone

The average Brit has more than 50 contact numbers stored in their phone – but can only memorise two of them, a study has revealed. Speed dial and mobile phone address books mean we can no longer reel off phone numbers for our best friend, mum and dad – or even our partner.

Even more alarmingly, the study also revealed more than one in four of us can’t recall our own phone number.

The report also discovered the lack of knowledge has landed one in three of us in trouble because we were unable to contact a loved one after losing or breaking a phone.

Despite this, two thirds of respondents said they could remember phone numbers from years ago that are no longer even active.

New technologies are to blame, according to most respondents; nearly three quarters have said that the rise in popularity of mobile phones has contributed to them having no knowledge of important numbers, but 25% believe it’s down to emailing more than phoning and 37% said it’s because everyone texts rather than calls.

Mike Hodges of mobile security and backup software firm BullGuard, which commissioned the study of 2,000 adults said:

“In this day and age nobody needs to memorise phone numbers as we rarely have to dial a number anymore.

”Every phone has speed dial and a huge memory for literally thousands of numbers, so although it’s great that technology has moved on it can be disastrous if you lose or damage your phone, which is fairly common place.

”Losing every phone number, e-mail address and even photos can be a nightmare for people and contacting every single individual by another means to recover all the numbers is not always possible.

”With mobile backup software now being readily available in app stores and at, your contacts, precious photos and personal files are all easy to save these days which can save a lot of time, frustration and heartache should you lose or damage your phone.”

The study also found more than a third of people continue to remember the phone number for old houses they have lived in, and touchingly one in ten can remember the numbers for deceased grandparents.


  • Four out of ten said they actively try and remember phone numbers in case they ever lost them;
  • Regardless, a massive 60% said there is just no need to mentally store phone numbers anymore;
  • If a phone crashed or was lost, the average person would only remember two numbers – with  mum’s being the one people would most remember;
  • In fact, Just 17% of Brits know their spouses’ mobile phone number.

Despite this, half of people said they would be at a ‘complete loss’ if they lost all their contacts’ details.

A canny 26% claim, however, that they have the numbers backed up on their computer, although a traditional 39% have written them all down for safe keeping.

Mike Hodges added:

”It’s strange how people said they could recall numbers from years ago despite having not rang them for years.  This will be down to dialing the same number over and over again for years, which is something that no longer happens.

”Before mobile phones were common place, the majority of people would know their partners’ phone number, as well as the contact details for their mum, dad, brother, sister, best friend and even their boss.

”But now we are much more reliant on our mobile phone’s address book to help us get in touch with a loved one.”

A third of people said they have been in a sticky situation when their phone has either been lost, broken or had a flat battery.

The most notoriously difficult situations included being locked out, being lost and breaking down.

Image: © Ronfromyork | Stock Free Images &Dreamstime Stock Photos

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