Since its advent, Google Glass has evoked empty threats of violence in comment sections around the web that have turned out to be just that- empty. That’s not to say I wasn’t a little worried the first time I wore my device out in public. Especially after a year of editorials like this. But I’m happy to report that in my 7 months since receiving my device, I haven’t been punched, or drop kicked, or smacked by any internet tough guys.
In truth, most of the interactions I have with strangers are positive. People are curious and excited about this undeniably innovative device. Occasionally, I get some side-eye from passersby, but that probably has less to do with the technology and more to do with the strange girl wearing a weird blue thing on her face. This lot tends to keep their distance but is otherwise indifferent. Or not. Maybe they take to Twitter to vent about my grievous offenses. I like to think they just don’t care about it all that much.
A Glasshole is born every day and they’ve probably never touched the device.
And then, least often, I come face to face with that guy from the comments section. I’ve been called I’ve been called a dork, a cock, and a Glasshole in conversation by total strangers. To be fair, Glass does look kind of dorky.
But honestly, ridiculing a stranger on what they choose to wear, accepting your ignorance on a device you’ve never tried and never want to try, expecting others to share your displeasure, and judging those that don’t? Yeah, I’m the Glasshole.
That’s not to say I’ve always kept it Glassy. I may not be staring off in my peripheral mid-conversation or sticking my face in a plate of food to get a picture, but sometimes I stop reading people. I can get caught up in my excitement and assume everyone is as into Glass as I am. Sure, most are, but I should be more sensitive to those that aren’t. I often quip that we’re never going to have a United Federation of Planets until we are willing take lofty leaps in technology, and I’m only half kidding. But the possibility of a Federation to one is the possibility of SkyNet to another. I don’t agree with it, but I try be sympathetic and aware. I just slip up on occasion, but one thing I never am is intentionally mean or cruel.
The ironic thing is that out of all the wearable devices, Google Glass is the least invasive and the most indiscreet. A cell phone is much better equipped to capture you unawares and upload video or photo of you to a plethora of networks without your consent. A smartwatch even more so. Google Glass? It’s a nerdy computer strapped to your damn face that displays a light when it’s on. It doesn’t even stay on for more than 10 seconds unless you activate it. It looks invasive if you don’t understand it, which is why I advocate everyone try it first before making knee-jerk reactions.
And maybe let’s stop assuming Glass users are recording everyone? Unless you’re wearing a tutu riding a unicycle having a one person lightsaber battle in a rainstorm, then by all means assume a Glass user is interested in you- as well as anyone else with a camera or a mobile phone or a heartbeat. Because you, person I made up for this point, are epic.
Whether or not Glass stands the test of time, there’s no doubt wearable devices are a brave new world. There is going to be a learning curve from the community on how to apply this new technology and how to interact with it. History has taught us that things will work out in the end. So can’t we all just get along?
Check out my guest post on Android Central’s Through Glass series- Through Glass: Breaking the Ice.