Google Glass: Maybe A Little Too Connected (Updated)

Posted on April 5, 2012


Photo Credit: Google

My generation agonized over whether to allow calculators in math class, and our driving instructors warned against  distractions like eating in the car or fiddling with the radio.  How quaint!

Fast-forward to today.  As Steven Levy writes in Wired, Google is working furiously on Glass, Star Trek-like facewear that will place a tiny screen just in front of one eye, delivering video, advertising, notifications, directions, whatever one might conceive of… except, of course, the ability to notice that you are about to walk in front of a bus… or that you are about to run down some pedestrians in a crosswalk.

Just what we need, a new way to stay ultra-connected to electronic distractions, while becoming disconnected from the physical world to an equal degree.  If you think folks are distracted by their smartphones now, take a gander at Google’s concept video and imagine living like that (we seriously need laws and technology to block drivers from using these things while in motion… before they hit the market).  Then imagine growing up with a system like that, and all of the essential intellectual traits that would atrophy or never even develop through lack of use and constant spoon-feeding:  patience, focus, ability to find your way around, ability to remember tasks or mentally organize your day.  Let New York City have a blackout a generation from now, and no one will be able to find their own apartments, much less connect to their social networks.  As helpful as our gadgets can be, they absolutely cripple our ability to pay attention, and that is critical.

With every passing year, we become more dependent on electronics, and more distracted by them.  Now here we are on the verge of truly wearable electronics, something we can put on in the morning like our glasses, and wear all… day… long.  Next logical step:  getting our electronics surgically implanted.  Think it might stop there?  What will most urban dwellers be like in another 30 years?

UPDATE:  Others are asking the same questions, only in a hilarious way!  Check out Tom Scott’s video imagining what such as system might really be like.