How Soon We Forget
The other day I was at my local nursery looking for some plants that are drought tolerant and attract hummingbirds.
I came across a plant I didn't know anything about.
|I'm coming, I'm coming!|
I looked at the name, Cascading Hopflower Oregano, and didn't recognize it. Then I noticed that it had a QR code on it. So I pulled out my phone and scanned it. This showed up on my phone.
All the information I could want to know about the plant. But the most important information was included in special features: "Attracts Hummingbirds." That wasn't listed on the label, just the growing instructions.
I was amazed, in a matter of seconds I had all my questions answered. I didn't have to find someone who worked there, drag them over to the plant, ask them about the plant, have her tell me she didn't know about that plant, say she'd be right back to look it up in a book, wait 10 minutes, leave to go find her, find her talking to another customer and ask me "what was the name of the plant again?" watch her look it up in a thick old book, and then tell me it doesn't say whether it attracts hummingbirds or not. (Can you tell that might have happened to me before?)
I stood there in awe of how much technology has changed how we shop. Monrovia is now getting my $5.95 just because it bothered to put a black and white squiggly thing on their plant label.
I then found another plant that I was interested in.
I looked at the back of the label for QR code. It didn't have one. I thought to myself,
"No QR code? What am I supposed to do? Pull out the label, wipe off the dirt and read the back to see if attracts hummingbirds? Stupid company."And then it hit me. What had just been a wonder a couple of minutes before, now was an expectation and necessity. I immediately remembered Louis C.K.'s interview with Conan O'brian when he talks about how quickly we act as if the world owes us something that we didn't even know existed 10 seconds ago. As someone who still remembers what it was like when phones were connected to walls, I never thought he'd be talking about me.