Forgetting someone’s name after being introduced to them is more embarrassing than forgetting a significant other’s birthday, according to new research.
The survey of 2,000 Americans (aged 35+) found 32 percent believe forgetting someone’s name is the most embarrassing blunder — more so than even forgetting a partner’s birthday (22 percent).
Respondents were given a list of forgetful moments and asked to select which they would find the most embarrassing — and results found failing to remember an anniversary rounded out the top three (21 percent).
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Natrol’s new Cognium Focus in advance of National I Forgot Day on July 2, the survey looked beyond moments that might fluster or leave us feeling MIF’d and delved into how forgetful we are, potential reasons why and the effect it has on our lives.
Results found the average respondent draws a blank about six times a week — adding up to 332 forgetful moments per year.
And these hundreds of little moments can cause problems: A quarter of respondents (24 percent) have had a falling out with a friend or family member, while 17 percent have actually been broken up with for forgetting something.
To stop a disaster like that from striking, 43 percent have lied after forgetting something, in an attempt to cover their mistake.
The survey found over half (56 percent) of respondents consider themselves forgetful — and 66 percent said they’ve become more forgetful in the past decade.
Forty-five percent said their age has contributed to their increased level of forgetfulness, but that’s not the only factor.
Respondents also blamed the need to constantly be multitasking (38 percent) and modern technology (33 percent) as reasons they’ve become more forgetful.
“While technology has made people’s lives more convenient and accessible, it has also overloaded them with never-ending to-do lists to manage and keep track of,” said Harel Shapira, Director of Marketing at Natrol. “Technology and continuous multitasking impacts our brains, it clogs them and affects people’s short-term memory.”
The survey backed that up: 61 percent admit to not remembering things as well when they multitask, but 54 percent still said they’re always or often multitasking.
Multitasking and technology go hand-in-hand and can lead to multitasking-induced forgetfulness. The survey found 66 percent of respondents use their cell phones to help them remember things — and of those, 77 percent would be at a loss without their phone.
But the amount of information available through technology can be overwhelming, as 65 percent of respondents agreed with.
Still, in good news, 43 percent are taking steps to improve their memory.
“Our daily lives have become more unfocused, busy and chaotic than ever before. With so much on our minds, we need solutions to keep us on track and manage all the moving parts,” said Dr. Mike Dow, Ph.D., Psy.D., “Brain overload can lead to a lack of focus and cause us to become more forgetful—but using products like Natrol Cognium can help improve memory and recall so your mind stays sharp.”
Top forgetful moments experienced by Americans
- Forget a password:51 percent
- Forget things when I grocery shop: 51 percent
- Misplace my keys: 49 percent
- Forget what I went into a room for: 49 percent
- Forget people’s names after being introduced: 47 percent
- Have a word on the tip of my tongue and not remember what it is: 46 percent
- Walk into a room and forget why I’m there: 38 percent
- Forget where I put my pen: 35 percent
- Forget what day it is: 35 percent
- Forget to take a meal out to defrost: 35 percent
- Misplace cell phone: 35 percent
- Forget words to songs: 35 percent
- Forget to mail something: 34 percent
- Forget where the car was parked: 33 percent
- Forget to respond to an email: 32 percent
- Forget a friend or family members’ phone number: 31 percent
- Misplace my wallet: 31 percent
- Forget my pin number(s): 29 percent
- Forget what I’m searching for online: 29 percent
- Forget to reply to texts: 28 percent
Formula: Respondents experience 6.39 forgetful moments per week x 52 weeks in a year = 332.28 forgetful moments per year
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