Cartoon by Manu Cornet. Licensed CC-BY-NC-ND.
Cartoon by Manu Cornet. Licensed CC-BY-NC-ND.
Lately I’ve been indulging myself by going commando on long walks and/or at the grocery store. The feeling of excitement you get when you are just out there in the world is exhilarating. No, I’m not talking about underwear; I’m talking about leaving the house without my cell phone.

GASP! is the usual reaction I get from people when they find out I don’t have any technology on me. Most say things like “What if someone needs to call you? Or you get lost? How will you post to Instagram? WHAT IF YOU SEE SOMETHING INTERESTING?!?”

I think part of the reason I delight in being blatantly offline is that like many, I’ve become a little burned out on the constant buzz and hum of the Internet. I realize that it’s a luxury to be able to unplug, a luxury for that friends with kids, or people who have jobs that never leave them alone, simply cannot afford even while vacationing.

So I find it intriguing that there is so much blow back on Google Glass such that there is already a derogatory term for people who chose to use it, “Glassholes.” The urban dictionary defines “Glasshole” as “A person who constantly talks to their Google Glass, ignoring their outside world.” Surprisingly, Apple’s Siri has yet to garner such a catchy hate phase. Most of the folks I know who rant about Glassholes would never ever be caught dead going commando!

I bought into this initial negative rush to judgment on both of those products. I didn’t turn ON Siri on my iPhone for nearly two years until I finally woke up to the fact that it’s just plain easier to ask my phone for directions than to navigate the little buttons and keyboard on the screen. As I’ve gotten older, my eyes just don’t like to focus on wee little things anymore so giving into Siri, and voice commands for Google, made using my phone a bit faster and less frustrating for me.

Last week, I saw this fantastic piece on one of the national evening news programs about a paraplegic who had been using Google Glass for about a year and she was a great example of how that technology can really improve lives for people facing difficult physical challenges. She had somewhat limited use of her hands so the ability to talk and wink her way thru internet screens was life changing. She felt that she could finally go out in the world and be safe and informed. For her, Google Glass was opening new ways to explore and connect to the outside world.

So I think it’s time we all chillax about Google Glass. It’s not going to invade your privacy any more than everyone carrying a cell phone will. There are cameras everywhere now and many products that are designed to be wearable cameras that are way more physically discreet. Google Glass is not going to climb up our collective skirts and start scheduling wax sessions while tweeting us reminders. Pandora’s Box is already open and we’re all on camera in public a lot of the time.

Some of this technology that we’re quick to dismiss is going to greatly assist some people. Meanwhile, if you are really worried about all these devices being everywhere consider leaving your devices at home and going commando! It’s a fantastic time to think about our changing world and the ways we use our own technology devices.

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