The World Through (Google)-Colored Glasses

Several weeks ago, Google released a concept video about a secret project that had been not-so-secret for quite some time.  It’s called Project Glass, and in case you haven’t seen it, here is their concept video:

You mean that one day in the near future I might be able to wear some glasses that let me walk down the street seeing information & images pop up into my field of vision Terminator style? And I can basically control all the elements of my reality – alter my schedule, check the weather or video chat – simply by using my voice? Move over, Siri, we’ll soon be living in the SyFy Channel.

In reality, this type of technology may still take several years to hit the market. But if it comes earlier, would you really be that surprised? Technology moves at such an ultra fast rate that we can barely process the implications of each leap forward before we find ourselves in the air again with our feet searching for a foothold. Technology moves and our heads spin.

But something about this video hit me pretty strongly. I already feel like I see the world through my technology. How many of your human interactions happen through the lens of some type of machine – a phone, a computer screen, an ATM, a drive-thru lane, a speaker. We could go through almost our entire day without any significant face-to-face contact and we wouldn’t skip a beat.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the way technologies like these expand the scope of our abilities and make our lives more convenient. I would be unable to stay in close contact with many of my loved ones without them.

But so much of our lives are already filtered through a technological lens. What would it be like for everything we see, touch or hear passed through technology? How would that affect the way we looked at one another? Would it affect how I treated or talked to people?

Let me give you an example. I am one of the worst fathers in history at taking pictures. If it weren’t for their mom & grandparents, our children would grow up with no pictures of birthday parties or dance rehearsals. It’s not that I’m bad at it; I just hate it. When I spend a Christmas morning or a t-ball game looking through a screen at what is going on, I feel more like a spectator than a participant. The camera & video recorder are a barrier to me being truly present in the moment. I want to be part of the experience, not a detached observer.

I’m not sure I want to view the world through Google-colored glasses. I want to experience real life in all its wonder rather than some facsimile. I want to be present in each moment.

Do you ever feel like technology pervades your life? Does it color your interactions with others or separate you from reality?

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