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Does This Phone Make My Butt Look Big?

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old-cell-phonesPhoto Credit: www.cycledcells.com

Recently turning 42 made me do some thinking. Not about being a better person or climbing Mt. Everest. No, something hit me. The extremism that populated my youth seems to have evaporated. Back then, a few years time would drastically change the pop culture landscape. Think about it – disco, then new wave, followed by hair metal, indie, grunge and all of this was surrounded by equally absurd fashion trends. If one joined the Peace Corps and went off the grid for a couple of years, they would return to find a superficially very different country from the one they left behind.

But then, at some point in the late-90s, extremism seemed to fade out. Take a look at the cast of a pop culture phenomenon, like Friends, in 2000, and you’re probably not going to find anything particularly laughter-inducing about their appearance. Sure we’ve progressed, but that was 12 years ago. Just imagine people in 2000 sporting 1988 looks and listening to crap hair metal with crunch perms and fringed acid washed denim jackets – they would have been laughed out of the room.

I somehow picked up on this trend of non-trends through the last decade and complacently updated my clothes and haircuts only when absolutely necessary. No one seemed to particularly care or notice. That was until several years ago when I was at a meeting and working for a former employer. The iPhone had recently come out and, always the practical one, I felt that my old Samsung phone still worked just fine. It was a FLIP PHONE after all. I was sitting in a client meeting flanked by my two superiors and threw my phone on the table to make sure I didn’t miss anything important. The shock in the room was palpable and my boss hissed at me to hide it. He actually physically removed the phone from the table and threw it back into my backpack. After the meeting, he curtly explained that my phone was, quite simply, an embarrassment to the company and “did I not realize that I was eligible for a company iPhone?” That’s when it dawned on me – outdated technology is the new mullet.

Don’t believe me? Next time you go to a meeting and ESPECIALLY a meeting with new clients or potential agency partners, watch how fast everyone is to flaunt their phones, iPads, iPad Minis, Macbooks, and whatever the hell else they pull from their Jack Spade bags. They can walk in looking like hobos but their technology gives them an instant pass to legitimacy.

But then again, I can’t help but wonder – maybe I’m just old?

Written by: Greg Williams

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November 20th, 2012 at 5:23 pm