Six Reasons Why I Will Never Get Behind Google Glass Regardless of How Often I Praise Google Otherwise

Monday, January 27th, 2014 by lola192

Like those who have blogged before me, I too would like to jump on the “Google Glass ain’t that great” bandwagon. To air my grievances in a succinct manner and to avoid subjecting you all to a soapbox address, this post shall be presented in a friendly list format.

  1. I found the entire concept bothersome. You can’t possibly remain aware of your surroundings or, more importantly, those within it whilst wearing that bright orange monstrosity (I’m telling you how I really feel). We have already become a society that doesn’t fully participate in everyday life because of our need for immediate access to our technology – there is no longer such a thing as uninterrupted social interaction – and Google Glass will only make it worse.
  2. The screen invades your field of vision as obnoxiously as a tween Justin Bieber fan with a Twitter account.
  3. It is neither user-friendly nor intuitive. Evidence: I accidentally sent a picture of the Media Archaeology Lab to a stranger at 8pm on a Tuesday. I can’t even tell you how I did it.
  4. As Will pointed out in his post, Google Glass serves to collect information about its consumers – It “hijacks our eyeballs” and mines away at our data. Disturbingly, the majority of consumers seem ok with that. In permitting our technology (and those behind it) access to our personal preferences, wish-lists, and how inefficiently we may ride a bike, we allow marketers to not only sell us a product, but to sell us the idea that we simply aren’t good enough people without that product. To use Will’s example, for Google, it isn’t sufficient that we are out riding bikes, that we are trying to leave a smaller carbon footprint or are merely trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. Rather, Google focuses on the fact that we aren’t doing it well enough. As a result, they are better able to sell us fitness software, cycling gear (because the right shorts will not only make you peddle faster, but boy, will you look good doing it), and a speedier, lighter bike.
  5. As Scott Fitzgerald, a popular glitch artist, said, people become empowered when they “understand the tools and the underlying structures… [when they] know what is going on in the computer”. Google denies its consumers this power. The hardware inside Google Glass is even more inaccessible than that powering our smartphones, our laptops, and our desktop computers. Since Apple began denying their customers knowledge of the inner-workings of their machines, technology has become a greater mystery. Google Glass, with its miniscule computer that only the most qualified, decaffeinated, and tech-savvy could pick apart, seems the epitome of this denial. With Glass, Google is denying real knowledge and understanding of its product to the consumers it relies so heavily upon. 

2 comments on “Six Reasons Why I Will Never Get Behind Google Glass Regardless of How Often I Praise Google Otherwise

  1. Lori Emerson says:

    Lola, nice post, short and sweet, on some of the more unpleasant aspects of GG! I noticed both you and Kyle use the words “user-friendly” and “intuitive” – while Kyle thought GG had both of these qualities, you disagree. But I still wonder what exactly we mean when we use these words and what sorts of ideologies (relating to privacy, surveillance etc) come along with a particular notion of the user-friendly and the intuitive? Also, *whose* intuition is behind GG? I can’t imagine thinking that your intuition is the same as mine – yet when it comes to computing we tend to imagine that there’s a uniform way we best interact with our digital devices.

  2. Google is looking to perfect it’s mental model of each of us. With a perfect mental model, you can then market products to a consumer with complete efficiency. Once you understand how a brain works, you can manipulate that brain into doing exactly what it is that you want (buying product). Google Glass gives Google new insight into our thought processes — what we look at, who we interact with, what TV shows we watch, which music we listen to, etc. In the future, Google will know you’re gay even before you do (if you happen to be so inclined). It’s more than just a bit frightening, especially given their cozy relationships with NSA/GCHQ and other government agencies.

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