As a member of the Millennial Generation, I have seen quite a few new technologies emerge. It seems that in just a matter of years, we have gone from desktops and cordless phones, to flip-phones and laptops, to smart phones and tablets and most recently, to Google Glass, the first technology ever to allow humans to live in a virtualized reality. As our technologies have gotten smaller, our dependence on them has gotten larger. I rely on my iPhone for much more than just phone calls and texts; it’s my alarm clock, my iPod, my weatherman, my GPS, my camera and my newspaper on the train in the morning. But if I am so attached to my iPhone, why does the idea of Google Glass scare me?
Actually, the real question here is can we survive in a society where people walk around with tiny screens attached to their heads? I’m not so sure.
Yes, there are the positives of Google Glass. There’s the story of the high school teacher taking students on a virtual field trip through Switzerland, and of the woman who can take war vets on tours of memorials they would otherwise never get the chance to see. And of course, CIOs are already scheming up ways that Google Glass will help make their employees more productive.
But then there are the negatives. First and foremost: privacy. How will you know if the stranger walking down the street wearing Google Glass just discretely snapped your picture? What are the consequences of having technology intrude into every step of your everyday life? One bar in Seattle has already banned patrons wearing Google Glass from its establishment, citing privacy concerns as the main reason.
And, there are all of the unknowns. Google Glass will change how we communicate and interact with each other. Is the dude in line behind you for coffee wearing Google Glass talking to you or his glasses? Will having screens attached to our faces destroy personal relationships by allowing people to retreat back into their technology, even when surrounded by friends? Will Google Glass distract and remove us from what is actually going on even more than our smartphones already do? Not to mention, will staring at a screen that close to our eyes for hours every day cause a new eye disease or premature blindness? And finally, will the ability to perceive and experience things differently, and maybe even better, through technology, ultimately lead us to be disappointed in our off-screen lives?
The only way to answer these questions is to experience Google Glass first hand, or at least through this video. Do you think you have the answers to my questions? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Gaby is an account executive at Greenough. Follow her on Twitter: @Gabyberk