Why Project Glass Scares Me

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Golda Criddle
Golda Criddle
April 6, 2012
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I’m sure you’ve seen the Project Glass video by now. I put it off for awhile, but eventually I had to see what everyone on my Facebook feed was talking about. They all seemed excited. My reaction surprised even myself, as an admitted social media junkie: I was disturbed to the point of horror.

Project Glass, is, for now a video the shows a futuristic world where, through the lens of glasses, you can take care of all day-to-day activities, such as check the weather, make appointments, get reminders, find the subway, and much more.  Indeed, with these glasses you can even sense where your friends are and get directions for inside the store, all through voice recognition.

Now, I love my iPhone, my iMac and my new Kindle Fire. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube all play a regular part in my (mostly work) day and I do believe that they all contribute positively to my life. I enjoy knowing all the latest news and gossip. But when I leave work, I like to be able to deactivate: leave technology behind and experience the world for what it is.

I’ve found some of the coolest places in Los Angeles by accident—just walking and looking around. If I’d been stuck behind the lens of Google glasses, I’d probably be too busy reading my emails and checking into the drug store to discover the world around me. The efficiency of life with Google glasses is what terrifies me. It means that nothing will happen by accident, because it was already planned. No more wandering around a new part of the city and discovering new places, no more friendly conversation at the check-out counter.

It’s strange because the description below the video says that technology should “get out of your way” when you don’t [need it] and “helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment.” How exactly can you be in the moment if you’re too busy listening to music or getting meet-up reminders? I think NPR columnist Linda Holmes said it best, “It’s designed to make you 100 percent efficient—and therefore about half as happy.”

I think there’s something wrong if I have to be reminded to take a call or meet a friend. If I can’t remember something unless it’s right in front of me that just proves I’m too distracted to truly enjoy life. I don’t think I need a pair of futuristic glasses to help me be “in the moment.” I’d rather unplug and just enjoy the sunset on my own.

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