On our train ride from Oxford to Holyhead this weekend, I had one of the most unsettling and thought provoking conversations with a social theorist about the implications of social media in the future. We began by talking about the differences between America and Ireland and the effects of the transit system (or lack thereof in America’s case). Conversation took a few turns and somehow we started talking about technology and I was explaining the concept of Google Goggles to him. Up until this point, the overarching theme of our conversation was about the maintenance of natural human interaction. Clearly as a social theorist he was a big advocate for this and had shown a considerable amount of unrest to find out that the average American spends two hours a day in a car. So naturally, when I told him about this device that will release sometime next year, he all but turned into a puddle of melancholy and helpless disappointment. This seemed really strange to me because the average person I have spoken about Project Glass with either seems excited by the flash and futurism of it (no hands technology, can't beat that!), while others simply shake their heads. This man was affected much more and nervously laughed saying that this time period would be considered “B.G.G.”.
It made me question a lot about my role in the media. Although I had considered the social implications of the future of the Internet, for the first time ever I considered the possibility of a change for the worse. I started understanding how disgusting it would feel to play an integral part in a kind of social genocide where humans could look right at each other and be in completely different worlds. What do you guys think? Will devices like google goggles be the death of social interaction or bring a second life (no pun intended) to it? Why do you think so?