Google Glass Will Change How People Act, Whether We Like It Or Not

Ben Dunham

by Ben Dunham
by Ben Dunham

If you haven’t heard about Google’s newest endeavor, you’re sure to find out about soon.  Google recently started Project Glass, which is the development of a pair of futuristic glasses that contain a computer which has many capabilities, one of which is the ability to capture high definition video on demand.  This functionality can be activated with a simple voice command, which means that users could potentially be recording others all the time.

This technology is going to change society, and most likely in a good way.

According to Scientific American, when people are under the impression that they are being observed or recorded, they are much more likely to make positive decisions.  Multiple studies have shown that when people are faced with a social dilemma, meaning that they have to make a decision between being a being a good person and personal gain, they more often make the decision to be a good person when they believe they are recorded or otherwise observed.  One study involved placing posters in a restaurant that did or did not have a person in it.  It was found that when the posters featured a person watching the diners, they were significantly more likely to clean up after themselves when finished with their meal.

Google Glass has the ability to record people at any and every moment in time, which means that if a person has Google Glass, everyone else in the room will feel as though they are potentially being recorded. The fact that they feel this way means that they will be more likely to make a positive decision when faced with a social dilemma, which could show an improvement in our society as a whole.  Everyone would subconsciously make better decisions, and hopefully improve their behavior as well.

This recording functionality does have its risks, though.  It is a slippery slope which could lead to much abuse.  The fact that Google Glass is always connected to the internet compounds the issue.

The fact that anything and everything could be recorded means that life becomes very unforgiving.  Any mistake or questionable action that people make could be immediately uploaded to the internet, and kept there forever. This has the potential to really ruin somebody’s life.

A constant fear like that means that people could also resort to being very careful and timid around Google Glass, in the fear that if they say or do anything embarrassing it could be immortalized on video.

Even though this recording technology already exists in most cell phones and other devices, the main difference now is that Google Glass is able to record very discreetly. Recording or taking pictures on a cell phone is very obvious; a person has to be holding the phone in a very specific and noticeable position i order to get a good shot.  With Google Glass, the only thing they need to do is watch what is going on, which they will be doing anyway.

Either way, there is no denying that Google Glass will change the way people think and act when it is released.  Google has been accepting applications for Glass testers (or Explorers, as Google is calling them) and has not yet made an announcement on a full-blown glass release.