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We recently came across an article on Bitter Lawyer, advocating the use of QR code tattoos (albeit sarcastically) in lieu of business cards. I gave it some thought, and in the first and only time I will ever quote Kim Kardashian, "Honey, would you put a bumper sticker on a Bentley?"
Granted, QR codes are popping up as an increasingly popular method of conveying information -- even for lawyers. As my colleague William Peacock noted last year, you can easily add a QR code to your business card. But does that mean that you should ink your QR code onto your "Bentley?" I don't think so.
Here are five -- among many -- reasons why you should skip a QR code tattoo:
1. It's Permanent.
My problem with tattoos in general is the permanence issue, and the same goes for getting a QR code tattooed on your body. What if one day you decide you don't want to use your QR code? What then? You're stuck with an ugly tattoo that leads to nowhere. Sure, you could get the tattoo removed, but who wants to deal with that? Tattoo removal isn't exactly known for being fun.
2. The Tattoo Taboo.
The legal profession is one of the most conservative and there's definitely a pervading view that tattoos are not professional. Lawyers may have tattoos, but they're definitely not in plain view. If you think getting a job is difficult now, it's not going to get any easier after you get your QR code tatted on your neck.
3. Trends Come and Go.
Tattoo trends come and go. Remember tribal tattoos? The lower back tattoo? When it comes to something permanent, never, ever follow trends (See No. 1, above).
4. The Practical Issues.
Considering the tattoo taboo, if you get your QR code tattooed some place private, how exactly would you share that info at a networking event? Do you plan to undress in public? Even if you decide to go to a restroom to have someone scan your QR code, then are you only going to network with people of the same sex?
5. What If They Mess Up?
This may seem obvious, but let's say the tattoo artist takes some creative license (or just plain messes up) your QR code. Will you forever be directing your contacts to a diet supplement website? Why would you take this risk? (Again, see No. 1).
If you're still not convinced, then go ahead and get your QR code tattoo. And, please let us know in five years if you are happy with that decision.
In fact, you can show us your QR code tattoo on Twitter at @FindLawLP (but only if they're safe for work, please).