I’m guilty of everything I’m about to say here. I’ve seen the error of my ways. And now it’s time to share my self-incriminating epiphany.

You see, about four months ago I bought a bunch of business cards for myself and our members. They’re clean, white and blue, with nice thin type and a clever little hook. “You will look *good…” The tagline says, with the asterisk on “good” pointing to the back of the card where you’d find a couple dozen synonyms. “exceptional, phenomenal, great, remarkable….” And so on. How cute.

I even gave a nice chunk of business card real-estate on the back to a QR code that points to each of our profile’s on the web. People use QR codes, right? Totally. If by “use” you really mean “see them everywhere and don’t know what to do with them”.

You see, I’ve been giving my card out to a lot of people recently. You might even have one of my cards in your rolodex right now. I mean, assuming you’re still living in 1988. Otherwise, like everyone else, you probably just threw it out after saving it to Evernote or typing it into your address book.

While punching data into my computer, this is where my realization happened.

In as much as I’ve been handing my business card to people, they have been handing their’s to me as well. That’s something I take seriously. If we’ve had a nice conversation and we exchanged cards, you can bet I will be saving your info and sending you a quick email to follow up on our conversation. What you might not know, however, is that by the time I’ve punched in the details from all those cards and started sending emails, I’ve probably almost completely forgotten who you are.

No, it’s not because I didn’t value our time together. And it’s not because you didn’t make an impression on me—when we meet again, it will all come rushing back. And you know why? Because I’ll see your face. It’s not you I’ve forgotten. It’s not what you do, how passionate you are about it, or what you hope to do in the future that I’ve forgotten about. Nope. It’s just those little squiggly symbols on a piece of dry paper that aren’t ringing any bells.

So there I was, punching data into my computer and realized I’m thinking, “who are all these people?”. And as I’m sifting through this big stack of cards, suddenly there it was. One of my cards had slipped into the mix. It was a lucid moment. In all the faceless identities I was sifting through, wishing I could put a face to a name, there I was. Without a face.

I suddenly felt quite silly. I was wishing people would put their face on their card and I, a person who makes a living by making pictures of people’s faces, had put a QR code where my face should be. A QR code?! I can honestly say, my face looks nothing like that QR code.

So, my friends, learn my lesson. If you’re someone who exchanges business cards with any regularity, do that person a favor and put your face on it. That’s how business cards work now, and you’re making it harder for people to remember the meaningful moments that led to you handing them that card. And, you better believe it, the very next batch of cards I get is going to have this mug all over it.