vanity, sympathy and technology

We live in a grand era of information. No more searching through the library’s vast collection of encyclopedias (remember those?!) to find info on a particular, uncommon subject. No more waiting for the forecast on the news to get an idea of what next weeks weather will be like. We have search engines, social networking and smart phones to help up keep up to date. Websites for everything imaginable, whether necessary or not. I mean, my site is proof of that. With the interwebs being so predominant, I occasionally find myself surprised when I find a business that hasn’t adapted and utilized the web better. Options abound for helps to build DIY a site, costs aren’t excessive and the bonus of using the internet for marketing seems unending, if done right.


This past weekend I wanted to take the kids on a family outing. Trying to plan ahead for our visit to the location, I googled the business and was glad to see they had a site. I mean, it lacked style, was very basic but at least it was informative…Then I realized that it hadn’t been updated in four months, at the very least. Hours were outdated and the activities weren’t current. I was a bit frustrated.


How do they expect to have a successful business if they can’t even market themselves in a current fashion?


Then I started pondering if I was being a bit too critical. (Usually, I err on that side.) I realize not everyone is willing to adapt, not able to adapt, or just unaware of the missed opportunities. But, being who I am, I just figured the owners were a bit indifferent to it all. Some people like to do things the same way they have for years.


When we arrived, I actually gave another thought to their site. Seeing that there were many people there enjoying the afternoon’s festivities, they have potential to grow their business even better. Like with a decent website. But seeing a few of the fixtures being on the minimalist side (read: outdated), I guessed that maybe it was a budget issue. We all have to cut costs somewhere.


So I quit pondering the useless, and went on enjoying my time with my family.


I would never have let this issue cross my mind again, or cared at all, if one event hadn’t happened. See, as we were getting ready to leave, I was able to have a nice conversation with the proprietor of the establishment. Friendly, accommodating, I felt I was a welcomed guest.


I also felt I had found the missing piece to the puzzle of why the business was possibly not embracing new technology that might help breathe new life into their business.


As I talked to the owner, a woman in her 40’s, I noticed two things that spoke of the refusal for change. The proof of the inability to welcome something new, or the lack of desire to do so. First, she still had eyeglasses that were circa 1981. But probably not of the stylings that would fetch some big money on Etsy.


And last but not least, the moment it all made sense for me… With sympathy I noticed she wore one other item that showed no care for embracing anything close to what’s current.


[side note: I saw “with sympathy” because, I was raised by a wonderful mother who has a fashionable and fashion oriented conscious. With a great desire to always see the best in people, I remember hearing my mom (who is a former hairdresser) often say, “Oh, if only they could have a haircut!” Which was usually in reference to a woman still sporting a mullet. Which is also the ‘style’ she gave me in the ’80’s. So, truly, it’s not so much in judgement when I state these observances, so much as a desire to help the seemingly helpless. I am my mother’s daughter.]


So what was this final, missing piece of the puzzle? What finally helped me realize that some things will have to wait? I can sum it up in four unsightly words.


Acid. Washed. Mom. Jeans.


Do you ever see strangers and wish you could give them a makeover? What quirk did your mom instill in you?

3 thoughts on “vanity, sympathy and technology

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