Beyond The Looking Glass

“A respected Swiss scientist, Conrad Gessner, might have been the first to raise the alarm about the effects of information overload. In a landmark book, he described how the modern world overwhelmed people with data and that this overabundance was both “confusing and harmful” to the mind. The media now echo his concerns with reports on the unprecedented risks of living in an “always on” digital environment. It’s worth noting that Gessner, for his part, never once used e-mail and was completely ignorant about computers. That’s not because he was a technophobe but because he died in 1565. His warnings referred to the seemingly unmanageable flood of information unleashed by the printing press.”A history of media technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook. – Slate Magazine

As I read more and more of the discussion around Google Glass (especially: The Google Glass feature no one is talking about — Creative Good ), the more I’m reminded of the anecdote quoted above. Similar discussions were had around the advent of the first telephone, and radio, and television.

As we venture down some of the paths that things like Google Glass may lead, the social nuances and implications that come with this technology will be an oft debated subject.

Yet, is that any different from what we have now? I think not. There is much ongoing discussion of the social implications of the smartphone. We continue to discuss the etiquette of those who never seem to be able to look up from the screen to have a conversation or eat a single meal without snapping a picture of it. Some have even taken it upon themselves to create games designed to enforce appropriate social behavior in their usage.

The only difference we face going forward, if there really is one, is the increasing oneness we will continue to have with technology.