<—- (This is your brain on Google Glass. Any questions?)
For consumer use, Google Glass is instant asshole. Do we really want to be cyborgs? Is that the tech goal to have a heads up display while we drink coffee or go on a date? Is that the pinnacle of connectedness? No. It’s the start of us disconnecting from the real world.
Which we are already doing. My smart phone has become a part of me. I hate that. And when it’s not in my hands or pocket, I’m like an addict, scratching at the chance to get back to it. Maybe someone retweeted me! Maybe something happened on Facebook that was truly monumental with my life!
I scroll through websites I had read a half hour before, expecting new content:
Then – out of narcissism –to my book pages:
Amazon & Barnes & Noble (hoping for a tsunami of books sales within the last thirty minutes.)
Goodreads (hoping for a torrent of book reviews with key phrases such as “genius” “life-changing,” & “near-orgasmic prose.”)
My home site. Where (sigh) again I check activity hoping for a spike in views. My sex tape has done NOTHING for my career.
Like a mental patient staring at snow on a television, I catch myself constantly craned down to my phone. And when I look up, everyone else is doing it too. At Target, the car wash, the supermarket, the movies. At the park as our children swing and laugh. The only respite in our day from those fingerprinted screens is when we sleep, and the first thing we do when we wake up is not reach for our wives, or husbands, or loved ones, but to our phone.
The point is, instant information is giving us Attention Deficit Disorder. I’m not being hyperbolic, I’m not exaggerating for effect. It is giving us ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER.
And strapping it to our face is not going to usher in utopia. It is going to make us digital recluses, half aware of our surroundings. Half listening to a conversation. Half watching out kids grow up.
There is technology that improves our lives, and there is technology that is white bread and stuffing, that turns us into cattle, chewing on information like a cud, placated as the real world passes us by.
We have to be vigilant in differentiating the two. We have one life to live. We need to be present for it. And technology like Google Glass* is antithesis of that ideal.
*But I do see its use in the medical and military fields. I’m not unreasonable.