Sign of the Times

I was at a museum in New York City this past weekend, standing in front of a 10-foot wall filled with QR codes. For those of you not yet familiar with these, a QR code — or Quick Response Code — is a barcode of sorts; it can be programmed with a variety of information, so that when scanned by a smartphone, you may see text or watch a video or link to a website.

But since I don’t own a smartphone, I can’t tell you what that 10-foot wall communicated.

Standing in front of that wall, I had the same feeling I had last week on Amazon.com. I tried to purchase a book I discovered was only available for Kindles. Since I don’t own a Kindle, I am not able to read that book.

Now granted, I am voluntarily low-tech. If I was so inclined, I could load up on the technology: a smartphone, an iPad, a Kindle. I could be plugged in and linked in and synced up and part of the collective — 24 hours a day.

But what about folks who can’t?

10 thoughts on “Sign of the Times

  1. I am pretty plugged in and I have to say.. it is not all it is cracked up to be. There is a sense of always being around, and it gets to a point that if I am not plugged in, I go through withdrawal symptoms.

    I think you can download e-books to your computer to read on the screen.

    As far as that wall – a lot of QR codes are just basic information about a product. So I don’t think you missed much!

    1. That’s it’s not all it’s cracked up to be is part of the reason I remain so low-tech. I just wonder about the assumption of it all: assuming everyone has such ready access to technology, assuming everyone wants it. It seems like a slippery slope.

    2. Before I got a Kindle, I would get upset if I was interested in a book and it was only available in e-book format…
      I think the less connected you are the more peaceful you are inside. :)

  2. Technology has it’s place. I tend not do a ton of reading but I do a ton of shopping on line. If I wanted to read a book I would be detered because I do not like to go to the actual store. I would purchase it electronically. I am not sure that anyone in today’s culture doesn’t have access to technology that they need to enrich their lives. People with disabilities have programs that are devleoped just for them so they can have access and use it! It is amazing to see how technology is used in many different aspects of our lives. I work with a woman who has designed a menu box for those that are limited in their speech. You press a button and the wait staff will understand the request. I have folks that use email to communicate with the outside world. It is simply amazing!! Cell phones allow some of my folks a level of independence that they did not have before. It is a tool and not a luxury. If they need help all they have to do is press a button….and the best part is most phones have pictures to identify who you are calling. Very user friendly. Technology has it’s place, it’s not all bad.

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