There are all kinds of theories about what will be the end of civilization.
Some say that it will be Global Warming.
Others say that it will be Nuclear War.
Others predict a meteor crashing into the Earth.
But I truly believe the end of civilization will be the passwords that we are expected to remember. You know the passwords that control all of our accounts and our lives. The passwords that prevent us from having our identity stolen, but the same passwords that prevent us from accessing our own accounts on a daily basis.
Life was much simpler before passwords. Remember when all we had to remember was our phone number, address, and maybe our junior high school locker combination? Now there is a different username and password for every single thing we do.
Let’s take this morning for example. I sat down to my computer to write today’s blog, and attempted to turn on my music app because I like to play classical music when I write. It’s just my thing. The blank page is daunting enough, but the silence of sitting at your computer waiting for the inspiration to write is even more daunting. So classical music somehow drowns out the noise of my own internal editor, and then the words generally start to flow. At least, sometimes.
But today the classical music app (Calm Radio) through my Sonos app (my external speaker) would not play. It kept prompting me for my login and password. Which of course, I could not remember. Usually it just recognizes me. Although, I vaguely remember trying to use this app on my phone the other day and running into similar trouble. Then I remembered that I changed my password on that app, which was probably why my computer was not recognizing me. So, I had to reset the password again. But the Sonos app was now requiring an update too. Once again, I could not remember that login or password either. This ended up taking more time than I care to admit.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. This happens daily. A few weeks ago, my husband wanted to watch a tennis match on the Tennis Channel, but we were in Los Angeles and we don't have cable in our apartment. So, I suggested that he log onto our cable account from our home in Hawaii, and watch it online. But naturally that required a password, and neither of us could remember our password to the account. Luckily, I remembered that I could pull up one of our current bills and get the account number online! But guess what?That required a password too.
Then I remembered I could find the password on my computer through some secret password keeper, but that required a different password. I couldn’t remember that one either.
My daughter mocked me for not writing down my passwords. But I DO write down my passwords. It’s just that sometimes I don’t remember where I put the list, and sometimes I am not at home to check my list. This requires me to have to reset various passwords, and then I forget to write down the new passwords. You can see the pattern here. No this is not a sign of early senility, this is a worldwide epidemic for anyone who spends a lot of time online and has a lot of accounts.
Okay, maybe it is a little bit of a sign of aging too. But this password thing really bugs me. I find myself not doing a lot of stuff because I simply cannot remember the password, so I just give up.
Although, I have noticed that some accounts make life a lot easier. It appears when you want to buy something online, companies make it VERY easy to remember your password. In fact, they will happily store it for you! Amazon, for example, hasn’t prompted me for a password in years. Similarly, when I buy my movie tickets online, they don’t care what my password is either. Of course, when I want to redeem my 500,000 bonus points, for my small free popcorn, that’s another story. So anything that costs them money, you better know your password. You better type it very slowly AND you better remember case sensitivity and those special characters.
I finally did get my classical music to play, so I am feeling a little calmer. Although, my Sonos speaker still needs an update, and my password is no where to be found. Maybe in the future when everything is voice or face recognition, we will look back at this period of time and laugh about how silly we were to try and remember hundreds of passwords and usernames. Although, with the proliferation of plastic surgery, maybe face recognition will result in the same problem.