Imagine a world of silence, where human hello’s are a rarity. Dinner table conversation, happy hour chatter, and catch-up over coffee are all extinct. Instead of exchanging words and sharing moments, we blankly stare at a small screens affixed to our faces. Welcome to the world of Google Glass.
I was recently selected to be part of Google’s Glass Explorers program, a type of beta test group for Glass. After picking up my Glass from Google and receiving an hourlong orientation, my feelings toward Glass quickly shifted from awe to skepticism.
After just a few minutes of using Glass, you start to disconnect from your surroundings. People’s faces and conversations are put in the background as you build your own virtual reality within Glass. Nothing is as important or prominent as your view. Take Glass off, and you can’t help but feel both your eyes drift toward the space where the Glass screen was once sitting. Suddenly you feel out of the loop. It’s as if you’ve left your phone at home and you aren’t sure if someone is trying to contact you.
Try to wear Glass throughout your day and it becomes apparent that there is no hope of winning the battle against compulsive email/text/Facebook checking. All social updates are instantly thrown in your face, taking the meaning of “always on” to a new level. But, by being “always on,” we are forced to turn something off – human interaction. Conversations with friends get put on the backburner as tweets from @KatyPerry (or the like) get pushed to the screen in your eye. Family outings get put on pause as you check to see how many “friends” have liked your post about family time. No matter where you are, what you’re doing, real life is put on hold when Glass has something it wants you to see.