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Deciding Whether to Love or Hate Google Glass

By Jeremy J. Glowacki April 3,2014




I’m still not sure whether to love or hate Google Glass.

On the one hand, I think Google’s latest mobile gadget can look super stylish in the way that nerdy Bluetooth earpieces, mobile phone belt holsters, and pocket protectors never were. But as soon as I saw a Google Glass-wearing dad with his kids at our local pioneer village reenactment museum, I began to sour on the $1,500 device.

There he was, “Glassing out” during an admittedly cringe-inducing “George Washington’s birthday party” that his wife probably dragged him to on President’s Day. OK, maybe I was just a little envious that he could somewhat subtly read emails or web articles when I’d get reprimanded for using my phone for anything more than taking pictures of “FDR” prattling on with my kids. But in that faux historical setting, Google Glass Dad was just about as out of place as when I caught “Abe Lincoln” using the ATM outside the museum. In that context, I kinda hated technology for a minute.

I later learned that Google had warned Glass wearers (a.k.a. “Explorers”) not to be “Glassholes,” followed by a recent Yahoo! Tech quiz to help Explorers learn if they qualify as one of these jerkiest of technology jerks. The article asked such questions as, “Have you ever been asked to leave a bar or a restaurant because you were wearing Google Glass?” and “Have you ever proposed to your spouse wearing Google Glass?” followed by “Did you propose in Klingon?” Good stuff.

Apparently hoping to minimize the backlash surrounding the technology to which it has committed so many resources, Google felt compelled to publish rules of etiquette for its wearers, including “Don’t be creepy or rude,” and “Don’t ‘Glass out’ for hours at a time.” Reading its dos and don’ts list is like taking an Etiquette 101 class. For instance, there’s:

“If you’re worried about someone interrupting that romantic dinner at a nice restaurant with a question about Glass, just take it off and put it around the back of your neck or in your bag.”

And…

“Respect others, and if they have questions about Glass, don’t get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember [that] a quick demo can go a long way. In places where cell phone cameras aren’t allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers.”

Yep, you definitely don’t want to ruin it for other Explorers. That would be terrible.

Going back to my initial comment, I’m still on the fence about Google Glass. I suppose I’d like to try the device out, but I’m not willing to fork over $1,500 and really don’t like standing out in a crowd that much. Plus, on the eve of a family Spring Break when my wife is trying to convince me to leave my iPhone in the hotel every day, I’m being pushed in exactly the opposite direction that Glass is taking society.