Have you wondered what it is like behind the lens of Google Glass? Wearing Glass is like adding an accessory to your attire, such as a hat or gloves. You know you are wearing them; however, you have to decide when it is appropriate. When should I and when should I not wear Glass.
Some common sense areas not to wear Glass are in restrooms, changing rooms, hospitals, or dark alleys. Other than those, there are very few places I consider it inappropriate. From my perspective, it is more situational than locational. Let’s consider what Miss Manners or Dear Abby would probably say, “You should always be considerate of those around you, never wear them to the dinner table, using them in and using them during a meeting would be rude.” When was the last time you were in any of these in any of these situations and people were not using a cell phone? I too am guilty.
Unlike a cell phone, Glass is really in-your-face, or rather on-your-face. I can’t take off Glass and hide it under the table during dinner and pretend to be present while ignoring everyone around me. Conveniently, the light from the image in Glass alerts everyone to that fact that I am engaged with it. To some degree, it could be nice that everyone knows I’m using Glass. Perhaps one day Miss Manners and Dear Abby will say, “It is not polite to disrupt an active engagement with Glass.”
Besides letting you know I’m interacting with Glass, the light could also be an indication that maybe the conversation or dinner is just not interesting. I know what you are thinking at the moment, “He can’t be serious, can he?” Interestingly enough, NPR aired Bracing for Google Glass: An In-Your-Face Technology.
There are limitations on when you should and should not use Glass. I personally have found it an adjustment to wearing them in public. In the beginning, wearing them outside was awkward. I was somewhat apprehensive and concerned about who was staring at me instead of worrying about what I was doing with Glass. I had to force myself to wear them at restaurants, while walking around campus, and while having conversations.
Now comes the next obvious question, what am I doing with Glass while wearing them? The answer is pretty easy. I am not surfing the web, taking pictures and video of every waking moment, or sending text messages to people. Instead, I have pretty clearly defined objectives when using Glass. I know ahead of time when I am interested in taking a video or picture. I do not send text messages through Glass in public; it would be a little odd. Here is a sample script:
OK Glass <pause>
Send a text message <pause>
John Doe <pause>
“Want to grab dinner tonight? I am available at 6 p.m. How is Basi?” <pause>
I prefer the quiet nature of not having the people around me hear what I am doing.
Before you worry too much about what I am doing with Glass, you can rest easy knowing that the functionality of Glass does not currently allow me to pick up the bad habits of teenagers, although if you do see me in public and see the light in my lens suddenly appear then you may want to ask yourself, “How engaging is my conversation?”
A very special thanks to Jonathan Diehl for all of his edits and insightfulness into this series.