Google Glass Continues Passive-Aggressive PR Campaign

By 2014, wearing a Google Glass on your face has become only slightly less stigmatized than a giant swastika or swath of acne. But if face computers die, Google's rep will take a hit, too: so the company just put out another try-hard list of antisocial propaganda.

Following up Google's request that its customers stop being creepy jerkoffs, the company has flagged a series of "urban myths" about Glass, which really sound more like corporate insecurities orbiting around actually terrible things. For example:

Myth 3 - Glass Explorers are technology-worshipping geeks

Our Explorers come from all walks of life. They include parents, firefighters, zookeepers, brewmasters, film students, reporters, and doctors.

You said it, not us! If anything, the myth-stereotype is "psychotic window-peepers," not "geeks." Also, "brewmasters" are not a real thing, and "doctors" who wear cameras into examination rooms should probably not be allowed to practice medicine.

But more telling than the "myths"—Glass is the perfect surveillance device, Glass is only for those privileged enough to afford it, Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world—are the means by which Google tries to dispel them: shame. It looks like Google's strategy right now is making its face computer look more friendly by making our regular cell phones look more sinister, with the expectation that we'll regret all this criticism when Glass is ubiquitous:

Instead of looking down at your computer, phone or tablet while life happens around you, Glass allows you to look up and engage with the world.

[...]

Next time you're tempted to ask an Explorer if he's recording you, ask yourself if you'd be doing the same with your phone.

[...]

The next time you're on the subway, or, sitting on a bench, or in a coffee shop, just look at the people around you. You might be surprised at what you see.

[...]

In the future, today's prototype may look as funny to us as that mobile phone from the mid 80s.

[...]

Before jumping to conclusions about Glass, have you actually tried it? The Glass screen is deliberately above the right eye, not in front or over it. It was designed this way because we understand the importance of making eye contact and looking up and engaging with the world, rather than down at your phone.

How dare we jump to conclusions! Basically: cell phones have already harmed our privacy, so why not turn the screw a few thousand more times? What are you, some sort of luddite? Doesn't this cherry-picked-by-Google photo of tweens on their "smartphones" scare you?

Google Glass Continues Passive-Aggressive PR Campaign

Just look at them, stumbling around. What if they walk into trees? Wouldn't it be safer and more wholesome if they wore their phones across their eyes, never needing to look away, never needing to know a separation between screen and self? Won't we feel silly and backwards someday, when we look back at 2014 and wonder why we ever wanted to put our screens away? Google is banking on this looming, manufactured sense of future-shame to cancel out the very real and current shame Glass users experience right now. The difference being that the former is fake, and the latter is justified.

Photo: Getty