Paper Jam

Readers of a certain age might remember during their youth catching a never ending supply of reruns of a 60s cartoon called the Jetsons. This was a story about a futuristic family that lived in a space-aged world complete with flying cars and robot housekeepers.250px-Jetsonslogo640x480 As a little boy in the early 70s watching this show, I envisioned a future where I could have some of the same 21st century innovations enjoyed by George, Jane his wife, daughter Judy and – we can’t forget – his boy Elroy! (Ain’t it funny how I can remember the lyrics to a cartoon I watched 40+ years ago, but I have to write a note to myself to pick up the dry cleaning after work Monday?) What made me think about this classic cartoon was the meticulous preparation one must undergo to perform that quinquennial ritual of getting one’s driver’s license renewed. You see in my state, and most likely yours, one must provide social security verification and – among other things – proof of residency in the form of printed utility bills, bank statements or similar documents. IMG_0346Editor’s note: Here at the Chronicles, we have a long-standing, vigorously enforced no bitch and moan policy. So please don’t view this post as my complaining. Truth be told, I zipped through the process this morning in under an hour. My issue is simply my surprise that in 2015, we are still so dependent on paper documents for identity verification. In fact, this is one of the few times I can think of that I have to dust off my decades old original social security card. I guess those old habits are hard to break. We may never arrive at time when we’re walking around with bar codes tattooed to our necks like that old Jessica Alba Sci-Fi drama from the early millennium, nor will we ever have RFID chips subcutaneously embedded. Of course given the recent spate of digital identity thefts and security breaches, maybe hanging on to our paper roots ain’t such a bad thing. I wonder if George Jetson had to print out his Spacely Sprockets pay stub or the title to his flying car to verify his identity at the motor vehicles office?

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