I loved this Adrian Chen story on Gawker about Google Glass- If You Wear Google’s New Glasses You Are An Asshole:
Is Glass The Future of Computers or a Privacy Nightmare? I am not concerned with these questions. Instead I’m concerned with a much finer point: People who wear Google Glass in public are assholes.
Wearing Google Glass is functionally the same as living with a smart phone held constantly at eye-level. I’ve never seen it done, but I think most of us would be comfortable labeling anyone who walked around holding their smart phone at eye-level an asshole, and not just because it looks even stupider than Glass. The smartphone eye-level guy is an asshole because most of us 1) value the undistracted attention of those we’re speaking to and 2) don’t like to be filmed or photographed without our knowledge. If you come up to me with a smartphone held at eye level and demand that I interact with you like you’re not being an asshole, you are an asshole. You are demanding social interaction on your wholly weird and unsettling terms. This does not change if the smartphone is tiny and strapped to your eye and made by Google. In fact, you thinking that this excuses your asshole behavior just makes you that much more of an asshole.
I am totally on Adrian’s wavelength here. I have a hard enough time when people are fucking around with their phone while we’re having a conversation, and wearing a smart phone ON THEIR FACE is going to be an annoyance I will not tolerate.
And like Adrian, I’m not all that worried about the privacy implications of Google Glass. Eyes are on you at all times? Everyone knows your business? I grew up in a small town, that’s nothing new to me. That’s life for most humans, ever. Our conception of privacy may be another one of those 20th century things we tell our grandkids about and they’ll respond with puzzled looks.
I want to be not glib about this, but I’m going to be glib. Remember when all us liberals were like “BUSH CAN SPY ON OUR CONVERSATIONS AND THEN WE’LL ALL END UP IN GUANTANAMO BAY!” And even more embarrassing- “THE US IS ON THE VERGE OF FASCISM!” Yeah, didn’t happen. Am I positive that Google won’t strap us all in to the Matrix? No, but I’m not ready to go live in a bunker because of some nerd accessory just yet either.
So right now, my issue is- COMPUTERS ON PEOPLE’S FACES. HELL NO. That will make me mad. That’s even worse than face tattoos, which I also find annoying. Face tattoos are like trying to talk to someone holding up a newspaper in front of their face. It’s an obstacle to conversation I just can’t surmount.
Friends- I don’t want to be in your life movie. I don’t want to have a conversation with someone whose eyes are cross-eyed like they’ve been wearing an Opti-Grab. I will walk away. Your $1500 glasses will “disappear.” I won’t stand for it. You have been warned.