Oogling Over Google Glasses

Google Glasses

As seen in Pegasus Pages (June 2013).

By Rebecca MacKay

Our world is about to experience a technological revolution: the Google Glasses. Many of you will know that the Google Glasses are on the verge of release. They are literally the stuff of sci-fi dreams. But are they necessarily a good thing?

The Glasses allow a permanent screen in front of your eye, telling the time. They’re voice sensitive; instruct them to take a photo and the little screen in the corner of your eye will do so. You can record videos in an instant, send text messages, access email, access the internet all at the command of your voice; the information will be right in front of your eyes. Tech writers are already reviewing the Glasses and spouting praise for Google.

When the Apple II was released in 1977, while not entirely a new idea, many saw the potential of the machine and the change that the infant computer industry was about to go through. You knew, or at least the Tech Gurus knew, that this machine was something special.

This time though, even technophobes can see that a storm’s coming; change is on the horizon and whether this change is good or bad – we’ll never know because by the time the change has overtaken us, it’ll be a way of life.

These Glasses are, without a doubt, a whole new frontier for society. You might think I’m exaggerating. I’m not.

I’m a sci-fi lover; I admit I like some Isaac Asimov before bed, but while these glasses do tickle my childlike interest and fascination, my desire to pretend I’m The Terminator, I still feel an overwhelming sadness.

I don’t know whether any of you have seen WALL-E but it’s one of my favourite movies and what the Google Glasses present to society is, I feel, perfectly captured within the film.

Don’t mock; I’m serious. Within the movie, many of the inhabitants of the spaceship are in chairs, with a screen in front of their faces that allows them to contact anyone in the ship and access any information they require. They no longer have any need for social interaction.

You know that time when you got told off for texting the person next to you? That. This is precisely what I fear will occur to our real society if these Glasses do catch on.

Confession: I’m not the most sociable person out there. I’d rather sit and read a library alone or work alone than spend my time surrounded by people constantly; I find people tiring and for that, I suppose you’d call me an introvert. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the value of talking, of real relationships. I’d much rather sit and talk to my friends than text them.

So, for me, these Glasses present the destruction of society.

Melodramatic?

Maybe so, but these Glasses will certainly change a lot about how we interact as people. Talking face to face becomes less necessary and less desirable because we no longer need to; the Glasses are a catalyst for this. Why would we want this for society?

Call me a traditionalist but I stick by my guns. The Glasses present to us a society immersed in technology with little care for the outside world.

Image: tedeytan on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

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