The Etiquette Of Glass
So, if you don’t find yourself tugging at Glass due to sore ears or a sensitive nose, what might get you looking for a place to stash the shades? This topic could turn into a story unto itself. But based on my weekend with Glass, anywhere you’d feel weird holding a camcorder out in front of you could make any halfway-considerate person worry that they’re causing others discomfort, even if you're not doing anything wrong at all. Sitting on a bench at a playground? Yeah, Glass makes you look creepy. At a bar with Glass on? Sorta odd-looking. Just sitting with my family, eating dinner, I had an older gentleman snap something at me about “messing with those cell phone glasses,” and he didn’t even know what they were.
Although the brewery where we were dining didn't have any opinion one way or the other about me wearing Glass inside, other businesses have already pushed back against the technology, including a bar in Seattle and a strip club in Vegas.
But I also think that the attitude towards Glass in more common settings is going to change over time. More than once, I found myself with my hand up to my temple, navigating around text messages or fiddling with video I had captured earlier, aimed right at someone who was staring at me, wondering why this guy appeared to be looking back, frantically swiping at his head. Yeah, that’s awkward when the other person doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s a little easier to shrug off when you're aware that it takes an "OK Glass...take a picture" to snap a shot. You might want to think of this as a step beyond the folks who walk around with Bluetooth headsets in their ears, seemingly talking to themselves.
The privacy debate is going to be an issue long after Glass becomes widely available, but mostly because Glass is conspicuous. If someone wanted to take creeper shots all day long, they’d do it with something that didn’t scream “check out the camera strapped to my face,” and they’d get away with it. There would be no discussion because nobody would be the wiser. I’d probably be more worried about the other direction—the ramifications of pushing photos and video of my life online. Within hours of Marcus posting Google Glass: Ride Along With Chris as He Goes for Lunch, someone had figured out my address and a faster way I could have gotten back from Taco Bell.
None of that bothers me, despite the fact that I’m generally a super-private person (it’s all public record anyway). Fortunately, Marcus edited the video and blocked my credit card as I pulled it out to pay. It’s the inadvertent stuff like that folks should fret about when it comes to more candid, intimate moments in their life making their way online. It’s bad enough the government does so much of this behind our backs already.
I’d recommend that common sense dictate the right and wrong places to use Glass. But so little of that virtue is exercised nowadays. The folks who need to hear it aren’t even listening. And that’s why Glass is going to be the next thing law enforcement bans to prevent distracted driving.