Information Consternation

Preface: I am now in early middle-age. That may explain some things, but not all things, that follow.

This week I forgot my PIN code to my bank ATM machine. Again. But this time it happened while I was in line at the supermarket, hoping to pay with my debit card and get some cash back. I entered my code...wrong. I tried again...wrong. I tried a third time (meanwhile people in line behind me are shuffling awkwardly and my face is growing redder by the minute). No luck. Heck with it, I'll use the Visa card, I muttered.

Later, in the privacy of my free time, I returned to a separate ATM kiosk and luck. I hate it when this happens. But it's happening, I think, because I have so many passwords now. I go to my gym: I must program a password for the locker. I log on to write this blog--password. I log on to Yahoo, to work email, to EBay, to PayPal, to, to any and all web-interfaces, and a password is required. I'm told I shouldn't use the same one each time and so I don't, but I end up forgetting some along the way. Am I alone in this?!! Please say no!

Surely, this is one of the challenges in living at this point in history: the Internet presents information consternation, an overload of data, myriad security requirements, and much else that at times can freeze us in our tracks. Either that, or this middle-aged thing really stinks.


Anonymous said...

Oh yes... welcome to the group... and now I have to remember my mother's passwords too... it's not getting easier... but then... indulge in a fine cuppa peets to comfort you Carl :)

John said...

while i know it wasn't the point of your article, i recommend memorizing a physical pattern than specific numbers. e.g. on a number keypad, 2,8,4,6 forms the pattern of a cross. 1,2,4,5 makes a square.

on your keyboard, t, y, u, j, g, h, forms a rectangle.

start your pattern on the letter for the service (e.g. safeway would start on the "s".

the only bummer is when all of a sudden you have to type in a password that you're used to entering on a numeric keypad into, say a text field in a web browser.

Wendy Redal said...

Uh-oh... I'm afraid I do use more or less the same password for almost everything. Trying to simplify...but probably not too smart, if someone cracks it! Now you've got me thinking I'd better diversify, and then my own middle-aged brain is going to let me down, I know!