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Why are people apparently and frequently noticing repeating numbers, such 11:11 or 2:22, on digital displays? Consider the following theories.

The Pattern Recognition Theory: Pattern recognition is a natural function of the human brain and something most people do automatically. Reading digital displays is somewhat automatic as well.

The argument for pattern recognition and random chance maintains that people experiencing the repeating number phenomena look at digital displays repeatedly and mostly unconsciously throughout their day until they observe a repeating number sequence. The sequence makes an impression on the individual's conscious while the majority of patternless events do not. According to this theory, we believe that we are seeing a repeating number every time we time we look at the clock when when we really are only seeing it occasionally.

While I suspect there is some truth in this idea, I don't think it addresses the phenomena in its entirety. There are, after all, 1,440 minutes in a 24 hour day and while we are not awake or in proximity to digital devices for all of these 24 hours, it is probably not unusual for most of us to be within reading range of a digital display for half of them.

How likely is it that a person will note the single occurrence of 11:11 out of the possible 720 remaining number combinations in a specified 12 hour period (morning, afternoon and evening)? That depends on how many times he or she checks the clock, of course, but if we consider random as a 50 / 50 chance occurrence, observing the 11:11 event is only random if the clock is checked in excess of 360 times per 12 hour day or 30 times per hour. And while it is not impossible to check the clock every 2 minutes it is not ordinary behavior either.

So if the number do not add up to a truly random phenomena in the majority of 11:11 reports, just what are we dealing with?

The Time-Interval Training Theory: Could people be training their minds, albeit subconsciously, to note repeating numbers? I think in some instances it is certainly possible. Some people find themselves noting a specific point on the clock on a daily basis without ascribing any special meaning to this accomplishment. These are the people who check the workplace clock at a particular time in the afternoon every day or to wake up at 7 am on a Saturday even though they have not set their alarm. In these situations, it seems that they have established their own independent body clock - training themselves to trigger an awareness of time at regularly reoccurring intervals.

The time-interval training theory however is only applicable to people who have this skill and not everyone does. Additionally, time-interval training mostly seems to work when a person notes a specific time on daily basis and many people who note repeating numbers do so frequently as opposed to daily.

The Hype Theory: Does the fact that many people are noting the not particularly random occurrence of repeating numbers make it more or less credible? I would lean towards more but this is only my opinion and an argument can be made in either direction. Still from where I sit, the repeating number phenomena does seem to be a real phenomena being at the very least telepathic (in the way of the Global Consciousness Project). But is it, as so many are implying, truly synchonistic?

The Case for Synchronicity: The issue with the synchronicity, is that synchronicity is by definition not only a pairing of events (e.g. looking at the clock / observing a repeating number sequence) that are neither causal or random but a pairing of meaningful events. In other words, for something to be a true synchronicity, it must contain a message.

Does 11:11 convey any meaningful message? This is a question that can be answered in a number of ways but I feel that further research is in order before I can address properly in this publication. In order to do so I have ordered a book :) I hope to follow up with a review of it in the next several weeks.

Update:  It has been more than weeks but I have just written the follow up to this article.  I call it The Number 11 & the Repeating Number Craze.  In it, I talk about the meaning of the number 11 and my theory on what this phenomena might mean.  Check it out if you can!

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  1. Godinu i nešto unazad uvek kada pogledam na sat obavezno su sklopljene skazaljke i uvek su isti brojevi 06:06,07:07,...21:21,22:22,..Neverovatno.Znala sam da to vodi nečemu posebnom,ili me nasmeje i podseti me da budem u sadašnjosti.Od skoro koristim internet,drago mi je što sam saznala da se to dešava i drugima,a čemu to vodi,videću :-) Pozdrav

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  2. Hi Illusion. I'm so sorry I didn't see this comment before. Had to translate from Bosnian using babelfish. Hope you can do the same!

    Yes it is good to know that this happens to other people. And I do think it means something. Oddly tonight I saw that someone was kind enough to mention this post on a forum. Just before I revisited it, I looked at the clock. You guessed it - 11:11.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!

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  3. I am also glad to know that I am not alone! I finally had to sit down today & try to Google what keeps happening, and was happy to find ANYTHING. However, with me, its not just about 11:11. I don't look at the clock at work much, as I don't really get much chance & often times it is obscured anyway. I'm not one to pay much attention to my phone, either. Yes, I do have the tendency to wake up without the use of an alarm clock, but I think it has to do with light coming into the room. Still, I have seen repeating numbers sometimes multiple times in a day. I joke that if I look at a clock & see 6:66, I would know it was the end but still wouldn't find it a surprise! It can be any series, 1:11 - 2:22 - 3:33 -4:44 - 5:55 - even 10:10 as well as 11:11. Usually not 12:12, because I'm either working or sleeping, but on the occasional late night....it has happened. So, I still don't get what is going on here, but again I feel better knowing that it's not only me!

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    1. Hi Anon. You definitely are not the only one! As a matter of fact, you are so not the only one this happens to that this post has been one of the most viewed articles I've written. I still see repeating numbers all the time - most commonly 111 or 1111, 222, 333 or 444. I've also noticed that friends and family I share this with tend to start experiencing it as well.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

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  4. Today I tried to search for answers. I have been seeing double numbers for the last few months. 11:11 2:22 3:33 and 5:55. But the 11:11 always come frequent. I cant find reasonable answers though. But Im glad to know Im not the only one experiencing this.

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  5. Today I try to search for answers. I have been seeing 11:11, 2:22, 3:33 and 5:55 but the 11:11 or 1:11 comes frequently. I find not enough reasonable answers though. But Im still glad knowing Im not the only one experiencing this

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    1. Hi Geisha. Thanks for your comments. You are definitely not the only one experiencing it!

      Bright Blessings,
      Barbara

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  6. This has been happening to me as well literally for years now. I have noticed that once you acknowledge that it's happening it tends to happen more and more ofter. Also, I don't usually see 5:55 or 10:10 or 12:12.. although two of the three is a different thing altogether really. I guess I'll wory when its 0:00 !!! That to me would be the end.

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    1. Hi Julie. Lol...yes let's hope we don't see 0:00!

      I feel too that when you acknowledge it, it happens more. And I've noticed that when you tell someone else about it they begin to experience it as well.

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  7. Is there any reason behind it? Or is it just co incidence?

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  8. Is there any reason behind or is it just co incidence?

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    1. Hi Bharat. Well that is the question :)

      I think there is a reason, yes. Though I'm not quite sure what it is, as of yet.

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  9. Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. We're just pattern seeking primates. https://www.damninteresting.com/the-baader-meinhof-phenomenon/

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    1. Maybe Deeznuts. But I personally don't think that's it.

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  10. Same here...its driving me crazy!for the past year.i dont work,have children at home,i have a very sporadic lifestyle...in other words i have no schedules nor do i own a clock other than my cell phone.its not just when i check the time at random but also when something happens at random such as an important text or phone call or an event, be it good or bad.i did share this with my friend but i was not specific with which times...for all he knew it could have been all triple times of the day but to my surprise he wuld text me at 11:11,3:33,& 4:44.the same numbers ive been seeing constantly!i also come across the number 3,like a part of a newspaper blown into my yard,clothes giving to me,like old sports jerseys,etc....i have strongly considered all of the "logical" theories..NOPE..im not a religious or spiritial person so what in the world is this?

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    1. Hi Meredith. You're not alone. This still happens to me all the time!

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