Two-fifths (39%) of Americans have forgotten or misplaced at least one of these everyday items in the past week. Usually we refer to these memory lapses as “senior moments”, but The Trending Machine National Poll tells a different story. Millennials 18-34, in fact, are significantly more likely than seniors ages 55 or older to forget what day it is (15% vs. 7%), where they put their keys (14% vs. 8%), forget to bring their lunch (9% vs. 3%) or even to take a bath or shower (6% vs. 2%).
Conversely, the only thing seniors 55+ are significantly more likely to forget are names (23% vs. 16%).
We asked Patricia Gutentag a leading family and occupational therapist what may be at the root of these relatively high levels of forgetfulness in millennials. “Stress! Stress often leads to forgetfulness, depression and poor judgment.” Indeed studying for finals and preparing for job interviews, not to mention relationship issues are leading stressors in young adults. Gutentag quickly adds, “We find higher rates of ADHD diagnoses in young adults. This is a population that has grown up multitasking using technology, often compounded by lack of sleep, all of which results in high levels of forgetfulness.”
With regard to gender, the stress associated with work life balance and increased financial responsibilities has taken a toll on women. According to The Trending Machine Poll of 800 adults, women are generally more likely to forget or misplace these everyday items compared to men (43% vs. 31%). Specifically, women are more likely to forget or misplace their keys (14% vs. 8%), their phone (12% vs. 7%), and even to take a bath or shower (5% vs. 3%).
Regional stress differences can be inferred from the higher level of forgetfulness found in the Northeast compared to those reported in the laid back West (51% vs. 39% respectively).