Tweet, like, comment, rinse, repeat.
When I posted up the article about Google Glasses, a part of my mind went “This is so horribly wrong”.
Think about it – you’re walking down the street minding your own business when out of the corner of your eye you get a notification that you’ve got new email. You dismiss it and seconds later you get a text message from your friend asking you if you’ve seen their email. By this point your left hand starts vibrating to remind you about the doctor’s appointment you have in fifteen minutes. Oh look – another notification that there’s a special offer if you check-in to the coffee shop across the street. Except you’re so busy trying to dictate a witty check-in comment that you don’t notice that the pedestrian crossing light has actually turned red. Can you picture what happens next?
We are bombarded by notifications and technology every day. My Blackberry buzzes when I get a new email. TweetDeck pops up on my laptop when someone mentions me. My iPad lights up when someone sends me a message on MSN Messenger. My iPod dings when someone likes something on my Facebook. Every day we battle against a tidal wave of notification sounds and messages that aim to make our lives easier but in fact just get in the way. Gadgets like Google Glasses may seem cool and trendy, but you know there are going to be ridiculous casualties from hair-brained people paying more attention to their HUD than to real life. It’s bad enough that people walk about poring over the phones that they collide right into you (or fall into a fountain), so can you imagine the chaos if everyone is equipped with a pair of these glasses?
What we do need are less notifications. Less apps that scream out “GIVE ME ATTENTION NOW!”. Devices that only notify us when we need them to, not every fourteen seconds. Of course, you could just do the simple thing and turn off all notifications which is what I’ve done, but then do you start to get notification cravings? I turned off the blinking new email notification LED on my Blackberry, and I kid you not my mind started imagining the red dot lighting up so every time I looked at my phone I’d think there was an email or something else to check. That clearly can’t be healthy thinking.
So before you start saving up for a pair of Google Glasses, think about the reprecussions of having yet another gadget in your life that’s vying for your attention. And as the video below demonstrates, it’s not always pretty.