Will Google Glass Change the Way Travel Bloggers Work?

When I first heard about Google Glass I had a natural negative reflex. Why on earth would you want to see the world through a pair of high-tech glasses when you can see perfectly well as it is? What purpose will yet another technological device serve us?

Will Google Glass Change the Way Travel Bloggers Work?

 

For me, Google Glass is a sad excuse to try and see the world in new ways (which could easily be done without a frame on your face). Have we lost touch to feel, see, smell and experience the world we live in that we need a substitute in the form of Google Glass?

The people featured in the Google Glass promotional video even go so far as to address their glasses as though they are a person, “Ok Glass, record a video!” This somewhat cyborg behavior is not only disturbing but it also harkens back to our childish naivety of having an invisible friend – a somewhat transparent thing (or is it?).

As I understand, Google Glass has amazing possibilities for those travel bloggers (or anyone for that matter) with a physical disability. Glass can easily be used by means of voice commands and without the use of ones limbs. It also has possibilities for those extreme bloggers among us who could use Glass as a replacement for a camera when partaking in stunts or extreme sporting activities.

However, I’m more concerned about the way in which Google Glass can encumber our everyday experiences. In fact, there is a scene on the Google Glass promotional video that scares me a little. A mother is taking a picture of her little girl in a giant bubble. There are metaphors aplenty here. The little girl may also shift into a somewhat artificial world of Google Glass like her mother. In fact, she is encased, surrounded by it. The bubble is seen to be magnificent, radiating and colourful – a newfound experience only to be ‘achieved’ by the use of Glass. Google even goes so far as to play on the naivety of children in this advertisement. Yet ironically, this is not a product that can be naively considered.

Will Google Glass Change the Way Travel Bloggers Work?

And then there are the physical effects of wearing Google glass. Sure they are supposed to be trendy and innovative in design but wouldn’t the annoying screen in the corner of your eye hinder your vision in certain circumstances? Do these glasses not pose to hinder our sight by presenting us with a myriad of constant alerts, messages and visuals? What about the possibility of radiation on the brain? And what about information overload?

Even the idea of being present comes into question. What kind of presence do we have when we wear Google Glass? Are we actually present? With a normal camera phone you can take a couple of snaps at a family get-together and then put the device away. But Glass forever sits on your brow and becomes in a sense, part of you and your way of life. You’ll get alerts and messages on your Google Glass – no need to pull out your phone to respond. What’s next, Google Brain?

Google Glass may have the ability to make us better travellers with its unique directions and maps software physically mapping out the route ahead to us. But Glass definitely won’t make us better travel bloggers. Only we ourselves can improve our craft. And this takes hours and hours of writing and hours and hours of photography. Google Glass may lend a helping hand to extreme sports bloggers or those with a physical impairment. But it doesn’t solve the issue of creativity or producing something incredible. We can only do that by ourselves.

In any event, what ever happened to discovering places by ourselves and without the aid of technology? What ever happened to getting lost in a place and letting that experience inspire us to write or create? I frankly don’t care what some website says about a place or what information Google Glass may provide me with. Until I’ve been there I’ll be the judge.

Our eyes are after all mirrors to our souls. Why cover them up with Google Glass? How will you as a travel blogger relate to indigenous people in the Amazon forest, a group of pot-smoking hillbillies in the US, poor South African children living in shacks or an elderly Italian grandmother who may never have come into contact with this technology before? Why should we embrace yet another manner in which to Tweet, Facebook, blog and ‘interact’ with the world? Have we lost touch with others, with our experiences and with our body that we need Google Glass to obtain a sense of being? I hope not.

Will Google Glass Change the Way Travel Bloggers Work?