Wonder Why Wednesday: How Are Social Security Numbers Issued?

There are a few benchmarks that show you have become an adult.

Your friends have started getting married and having babies. You’ve Googled the phrase, “what is a 401K?” And your back just starts to hurt for no reason.

I am sure you can come up with a dozen other examples. One thing that I clearly remember signaling I was becoming an adult was when I had my social security number memorized.

As a teenager I used to carry a sticky note in my wallet that had my social security number on it. That was for the few times I had to know that number on a job application or a drivers test or something.

That probably wasn’t the smartest idea but back then I was too dumb to know of the threat of identity theft and plus, I didn’t really know why a social security number was so important.

Somewhere throughout the years, my use of the social security number became so frequent that I no longer needed that sticky note. I had memorized that nine digit number.

I remember being impressed that I could memorize such a long number and important number. Congratulations to me.

I guess that was my brain’s way of saying, “Welcome to adulthood!”

Even though I have the number memorized I know little more about it than when I was carrying that sticky note in my wallet. Where did that number come from? Was it my dad’s lucky number or did my mom just think it had a “nice ring to it?” Did we pick that number or did that number pick me?

For today’s Wonder Why Wednesday, I will turn to a video from that can answer those questions and more.

How Are Social Security Numbers Issued?






Photo credit: Wikipedia