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May 17, 2013

STAWAR: We’re all losers


With technological advances, we can now lose things virtually as well. In the past I would often not be able to find the envelope with copies of last year’s tax return. Thanks to modern conveniences, these days I can’t find the computer file containing last year’s tax return. 

At work I now spend an enormous amount of time furiously searching through old e-mails and drives, looking for documents instead of furiously digging through my desk like I did in the past. 

Such is progress. 

The computer age also has changed the things that people cite as their most frequently lost items. To be sure keys, glasses, umbrellas, purses, wallets, pens and gloves are still on the list. But now cellphones, flash drives, earbuds, chargers, laptops, tablets and e-readers are routinely included. 

According to Zomm News, the top three items now found in office lost-and-found boxes are keys, flash drives and cellphones. The Novatel hotel chain recently reported that item hotel guests most commonly leave behind now is their cellphone charger.

Modern technology, of course, can also help us find lost or misplaced objects. The Find-My-Iphone and a host of other applications and devices take advantage of GPS and wireless technology to help people track their possessions.

 I can’t tell you how often I find myself wishing I could call my lost keys or glasses like I call my cell phone. 

 More than half the people surveyed about losing things said they wished they were more organized and listed “untidiness” and “poor memory” as major reasons they misplace things. Unfortunately, losing things is inexorably tied to our fallible memories. There are occasions when something may be stolen, tumble out of a pocket or fall into a rift in the space-time continuum, but mostly we just forget where we put stuff — such as keys, glasses or wallets — or we forget to take things along with us — like chargers, umbrellas and purses. 

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