I Just Wasn't Made For These Times, Sign #1

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Sign #1 that I just wasn't made for these times: I'm noticing lately that I'm getting more and more behind on the latest technology. Furthermore, I just don't care. 

Case in point: earlier this week I was told some people in my company would be receiving new business cards. We're in the middle of a large rebranding effort so this was also a chance to freshen up the card's design a bit. And that's when a few people in my department mentioned that we should include a "QR code" on the business cards. 

I had NO idea what a QR code was. Never saw a mention of them in the news or in a magazine. If I'd seen one before, I wouldn't have known it. I also had no intentions of admitting this to the group. "Sure, I'll look into putting a QR code on the cards," I told them - then immediately went to my old friend, Google, for assistance. 

It turns out...as everyone who owns a smartphone probably knows (which would include the entire planet except for me and that newly discovered ancient tribe in South America) a QR code is a barcode that can be linked to something...a website, landing page, offer, etc. When you scan it with your smartphone it takes you to the link. 

I think it looks like a graphic from an Atari 2600 game. What do you think? 
Then I was told that some people in the company would be receiving different QR codes because they sell specifically for different divisions. This means our printer would have to print special shells for these two folks because of the different codes required on their cards. So now it's just creating extra work, and it takes up space on the cards.

I also learned this week that these QR codes are practically the wave of the future - they're popping up everywhere, especially on business cards. 

It's enough to make my mind swirl. I just find the whole concept exhausting and unnecessary. Since when does every damn piece of personal real estate space become extra advertising? I've had to ask myself that if I had a smartphone, would I really bother to scan every QR code in site? Perhaps I would...I've been avoiding upgrading my phone until I really have to. For me personally, I just don't see the point in having a communications gadget turned on 24/7, but maybe once I get one I'll feel differently. Who knows. Speaking of smartphones, if you were to ask me what the hottest model/trends are I'd have no clue. I keep hearing about the Android, but I can't tell you what makes it so cool compared to say, the iPhone. We are beyond the saturation point if you ask me.

It was fun and exciting when during the 80s we saw some cool technology advances, such as VCRs and the Sony Walkman. However, I think we've reached a point where technology has invaded every moment of our lives. Everyone is expected to keep that Blackberry on, even after work hours and at night.

My work requires that I keep on top of the latest technology to an extent, but frankly it's hard for me to get excited because I feel like there are more important things in life that matter. I saw this presentation the other day on SlideShare that predicted the top 100 hottest things and trends for 2011, and one of them was actually rehab for technology addicts. I could see that happening...and I'm grateful that my chances of entering one by this point are rather slim.


  1. I agree about the intrusion of all one's personal real estate space becoming advertising. However, your blog has adverts 270 degrees around each post! (and even in the comments section - see above) Maybe you have done this to be ironic; if so I apologise!

  2. Anonymous - well, you got me. However I think the original meaning of my post was lost on you, which is that technology is advancing at such a rate that it's lost on me.

  3. Only because we moved last year did I get a new phone (we switched phone companies0. My old phone didn't even take pictures. I had it for five years and it was great. This one is easier to text on, which is great when I'm somewhere and bored, but it doesn't go online at all. I mean, I LOVE the internet, but I don't feel the need to be on it every second (although I'm on it more than I should be as it stands!)...

    That barcode thing made me think of the X Files where Scully found a bar-coded chip in her neck. Yikes.

    Btw I think the only real difference between an Android and iPhone is that the Android could use Verizon. Now the iPhone can as well. I could be wrong, but I think they are basically the same...

    I still have a vcr too! I'm old school like you!

  4. I agree. I'm one of the few people I know without a "smartphone". I'm tired of reading magazines that say "for more information, scan this". I want them to print the information, not make me work for it!

    I can't stand it. It's lazy for one, and there are still MILLIONS of people without smartphones!!

  5. Thanks, Barbara - I don't feel so alone now!

    Amanda - I probably will break down soon because texting is a pain on my current phone. It does take photos, although they're not that great.

    My mother still has a VCR - I got it for her on eBay. Works with the basic cable and everything.

  6. I still don't have a smartphone! Glad to see I'm NOT the last person on earth without one!

  7. I agree with you completely! I do have a smartphone, but I hate it bc I feel it forces me to never "turn off". BTW--I am just catching up on your blog, and I love the new look. So FAB! Well done, lady!

  8. Well,if it makes you feel any better I'm 31 years old and I've never even owned an iPod or mp3 player. And couldn't even tell you how your supposed to get music for it other than the Apple store. LOL! I have to laugh at myself or I would get depressed.(yeah,let the pointing and laughing at me commence.)

    Lisa J

  9. Thanks for another interesting topic! I bought a second hand Blackberry Bold about 6 months ago (my first 'smart' phone). It's brilliant for checking my emails, eBay, my blog etc but I don't have any time or use for 'apps'. (Despite there being some very good 'retro' ones - is that a contradiction in terms??)

    I know that the iPhone is a miracle of technology but with most things that the media and (as a result), the public rave about; I semi-consciously choose not to get swept up with the hype.

    I collect vintage phones, my favourite being a cream Western Electric push button from the 80s (I also own an orange Stromberg Carlson rotary from about '78) - both from the US and both 'proper' icons of style. I don't know why but iPhones 'just ain't cool!'

    As technology advances I hope more people like yourself will highlight the importance of people, style and consumption from a bygone age.


  10. I got my FIRST cell phone 3 years ago, 10 years after everybody and their brother already had one. I still have the same phone and it works fine so I see no reason to "upgrade" to a smartphone.
    I'm proud to say that I'm not a slave to the cell phone and could live without one just fine.

  11. Ugh.. everyone keeps telling me that I need to get a smart phone. However, I really don't have the desire or see the need to get one. On the other hand, I thought the same thing about pagers, cell phones, CD's, and MP3 players. LOL

    Mind you.. out of all the technological trends I eventually embraced, I will NEVER get on the e-reader bandwagon!! At this point.. it seems like retro folk like us have to move forward or get left behind.

    I'll tell ya though, I have an uneasy feeling in my gut about us being SO dependent on technology. (Not entirely sure why)

  12. I don't even have a cell phone. If you need to reach me, call the land line...if I don't pick up, it is because I don't want to talk with you. I work in a restaurant and you can't imagine the people that sit there with their cell phone instead of engaging with their dinner partner. We have become inhuman if you ask me.

  13. Morning Pam...I love your blog and all the interesting things you write about and because of that I've just given you the Stylish Blogger Award :) !

    Here are the rules for accepting the Stylish Blogger Award:
    -Link to the person who gave you the award.
    -Share 7 facts about yourself.
    -Pass the Stylish Blogger Award on to 7 of your favorite bloggers.

  14. SUZZ8-TRACK: That's true...apparently you're in good company here!

    Lisa J.: I don't own an iPod, either, although I will admit I'm dangerously close to breaking down and buying one soon. I just hate the thought of cover art being diminished because of virtual music downloading.

    Mimi: Thank you for the compliment! It's still a work in progress but I like this layout better and now I can easily swap in new backgrounds and banner images for each decade when I get bored with the current theme.

    Budd: I love vintage phones...what a great idea for a collector. I have what I think was called a "handbag phone" from the 60s. Round, mod shape. It's not a vintage model, however, but a redesign that was sold at Target a few years ago.

    Luis: Good for you for not being too attached to your phone.

    Darrin: Same here on the e-reader. I've been meaning to post about that as I think it takes the fun out of reading a book or magazine. It also means less public publicity for books since when a person is on an e-reader, you can't tell what they're reading...whereas with a book you can see the cover.

    Sassy Lassies Vintage Life: Thank you SO much for the blog award! That's one I have not received yet. I'll have to come up with the list of facts and pass it along to favorite bloggers.

    My mother still has a land line. When I get my own place I plan on having one, too (that I can plug my retro phone into.) She doesn't have call waiting so if the line is busy, too bad - you gotta call back. Wonder how many kids today don't know what a busy signal sounds like...

  15. That's definitely a new one to me also. I do not own a cell phone and don't even really want one but probably will get it to have just in case of emergencies. My brother keeps trying to talk me into getting an iPod but I'm not that interested in that either.

  16. I never heard of this, though I've seen that weird little code around. Now I know. I was born in '80, but I'm so far behind I just got a cell phone for the first time last year. But don't ask me how to work an IPhone or anything. lol. Well, I am decent at learning all the new stuff if I really have to. But I sure miss curly wires and phone books and dialing.
    Technology is booming at an alarming rate, it doesn't give anyone a chance to breathe.

    I just love your blog and look forward to reading as much as I can!


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