Final Word

By Jeff Girod

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Posted February 28, 2013 in News

The future is coming and it’s going to sit on your face.

Google has invented computerized eyewear to video chat, take photos, search the Internet, check weather and get driving directions, according to CNET. Marketed as “Google Glass,” the $1,500 high-tech eyeglasses will connect via Bluetooth to both Android and iPhones, feature high-speed Wi-Fi and be available for purchase by 2014.

Replacing a person’s vision with a computer screen? Eliminating their ability to see objects directly in front of them? What could possibly go wrong?

Expect helicopters to start raining from the sky, flaming SUVs to smash through food courts and kids to get abandoned inside every Starbucks, Gymboree and Lane Bryant. Because that’s what’s going to happen if people can video chat on their eyeglasses.

People need to be able to see and hear. I know it’s a bummer. But it’s what separates us from stumps of wood.

Maybe you’ve noticed, but most people can’t do two things at once. Some can’t do one thing at once. Everyone’s preoccupied with texting and tweeting and checking in and Instagramming and Yelping.

Also, most humans are naturally uncoordinated. Try tossing your keys to a friend. He’ll react like you threw him an exploding piranha.

Check out these facts from distraction.gov, a U.S. Government website about distracted driving:

• In 2011, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. Another 3,331 people died.

• Texting takes a driver’s eyes away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent—at 55 mph—of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.

• Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.

I respect the necessity to always be inventing something futuristic, but how “advanced” can an invention be if it’s ultimately going to kill you? If you let Google in your glasses, just climb into your SUV and ram full-speed into a brick wall. On the bright side, your last words before impact will be something completely juvenile and unintelligible such as, “BRCK WLL? OMG WTF! :(

In the olden days, we used to sit quietly in poodle skirts to talk on rotary phones, collecting our thoughts and responding to every question in long, coherent sentences. Why? Because in the olden days there wasn’t shit to do. Then cordless phones came along—and later wireless and smart phones—and polite conversation was replaced by grunting and winkie-faced emoticons.

Google Glass will cripple your life in myriad, untold ways. There’s a big beautiful world out there and nobody is making time to see it. Or haven’t you been to a concert or recital where everyone was recording or tweeting about the show instead of enjoying it?

I’ll be honest with you, because I think we’ve established a relationship built on honesty and respect during these last dozen paragraphs: You’re a lazy time waster. It’s OK, because I’m a lazy time waster, too. You already have online access on your smart phone, iPad and TV . . . Do you really need to risk what’s left of your life to have Google pasted on your eyelids?

Take a minute and review your Internet browser’s history. Go ahead, I’ll wait . . . Is any of it really going to make the world a better place? Somehow I don’t think we’re finding a cure for cancer or fixing the economy based on your search history of “Olivia Wilde bikini.”

Just because you can put the Internet inside something doesn’t mean you should. A puppy, for example: Horrible idea. Olivia Wilde holding an Internet puppy: Slightly less horrible.

Wearing Google glasses won’t make you more efficient or popular. Nobody is going to suddenly admire you because you’re wearing a pair of $1,500 goggles that can post status updates.

You’re going to look like a person who’s trying too hard. And you’ll be just as beloved and respected as the idiot with his Bluetooth wireless earpiece standing in the middle of a waiting room/movie theater/restaurant shouting HOW BUSY AND IMPORTANT HE IS.

And there’s already an invention to make a guy like that disappear: Throwing your phone at his forehead.

Contact Jeff Girod at finalword@ieweekly.com.


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