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My response to Matt Asay’s concerns about the “always on” nature of Google Glass

Matt Asay wrote a piece entitled Google Glass: Way Too Much Google For Its Own Good. Here’s a brief excerpt:

By constantly presenting Glass wearers with information, or the opportunity to get information, Google manages to over-deliver on its mission statement at a time when we actually rely on Google to filter out noise, rather than fill our lives with more noise. As I wrote in 2007, the secret to Google’s business model is to embrace the abundance of the Internet’s information overload but then remove the detritus and give me only what I want, when I want it, and serve up context-relevant advertising.

But by sticking a computer on my face, always on and always connected, Google has ruined this model by giving me far more than I want, all the time, and diminishing my control of the flow of Google-provided information.

That’s just a brief part of Asay’s piece. I encourage you to read the whole thing.

I offered a comment on the piece, which I am reproducing here in full.

I wonder if always-on connected devices will end up changing our expectations about connectivity.
Think about it. When I was growing up, my parents had a phone in our house, connected to the wall, that wasn’t going anywhere. When we were in the car, we couldn’t be reached on the phone. When I was at school, I couldn’t be reached on the phone. When my dad was at work, you could only reach him on the phone if you knew his work number; his home phone number would only reach my mom and her dog. When I went to college, you’d have to call a pay phone in my dorm to reach me.
At that time, there was no expectation of always being able to reach someone via the telephone. However, mobile phones slowly became more and more popular, and that phone that I would only use in emergencies slowly became a necessity. States such as California had to pass laws because some of us would answer our phones while we were driving down freeways.
In the same way, it’s quite possible that a few decades from now, we’ll require the “always on” technology, perhaps even when we sleep. Perhaps the person who DOESN’T wear his connected device in the shower will be looked upon as a backward Luddite freak.
Matt, I see what you’re saying, and you do have a valid concern, but it’s quite possible that society’s expectations could significantly change our behavior.

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