Explorers have been testing Google Glass for almost a year now, and the hubbub is starting to fade. The general population has accepted Google Glass as an accessory for either the very rich or the very early adopters.
Google has been steadily letting Glass seep into our society by opening up more invitations, which means the probability that you encounter a “Glasshole” in the wild (Google’s word, not mine) increases each day. As Glass becomes more mainstream, the need for proper etiquette – or Gletiquette – is increasing. As such, Google recently posted a list of do’s and don’ts for this new generation of Glass Explorers to follow.
Let’s start with the Don’ts, because they’re a lot more fun.
- Don’t: Use Glass for hours on end (aka Glass-out). Google Glass is meant to help with the small stuff. Similarly, just because you can watch Netflix on your phone doesn’t mean you prefer it to a big screen TV.
- Don’t: Wear Glass during high impact sports. If you want that footage from your snowboarding run, wear a GoPro instead.
- Don’t: Expect to fly under the radar. Glass is still new, and complete strangers will come up and ask you about it and want to touch it. Now you know how pregnant women feel.
- Don’t: Be a “Glasshole” when people approach you, or in general. The questions come with the baggage, so be gracious or don’t wear it at all. Also, don’t ignore everyone around you to use Glass.
If you think you can handle those, let’s move on to the Do’s.
- Do: Keep an eye out for new ways to use Glass daily. Google Glass is only as awesome as you make it, have an open mind when incorporating it into your daily life.
- Do: Have fun with voice commands. What’s the point of hands-free technology if you never use voice commands?
- Do: Ask before photographing and filming. Don’t be creepy, people don’t know what you’re doing as clearly as when you’re holding up a smartphone.
- Do: Lock your screen. Just like you lock your phone, lock your screen for security reasons.
- Do: Actively participate in the community. Glass Explorers can come together and offer advice, give ideas about new ways to use it, and share stories. Be a marketer for Google.
So far so good, right? In the past year, other blogs and websites have offered their own do’s and don’ts when wearing Google Glass. Here’s where a few disagree.
The Wall Street Journal
Kevin Sintumuang called Google Glass the modern day Bluetooth headset. Explorers need to accept that most people will want to try on the gadget, and that you shouldn’t be creepy with it, but he disagrees that Glass testers should make the most of voice commands:
One day, Glass might become as ubiquitous as mobile phones and it won’t be that weird to hear the phrase “OK Glass” before a request for a weather update… but ask yourself: Can I do whatever I’m about to do with Glass more politely by using my smartphone?
- Don’t: Take long phone calls and write long emails with Glass. It’s just as bad as using a Bluetooth headset.
- Do: Think about how Glass is affecting (annoying) the people around you.
While most of Google’s tips were meant to encourage and inspire Explorers, Simon Dumenco gave a list of places where Google Glass should be removed. For example, driving and using Glass is illegal in some states and counts as texting while driving. Also, using Glass in a movie theatre isn’t just rude, it’s considered movie piracy. Like Sintumuang, Dumenco also touched on the “annoying factor” of Google Glass:
Given all the options, you are probably less likely to annoy people when wearing Google Glass if you’re offshore somewhere — preferably on [a] boat by yourself.
- Do: Think about where you’re going and if you really need to wear Google Glass where you’re headed.
Heather Kelly offered tips from the trenches, sometimes Google Glass brings you closer to more people than you would like.
After the regular barrage of questions (How does it work? Are you using it now?) many strangers ask to try on the $1,500 piece of hardware. The answer is typically no, and some owners will cite Google’s terms prohibiting the lending of Google Glass as an excuse.
- Do: Expect people to ask how much you paid for Glass. They know it’s a lot, so bite the bullet and give them a real number.
- Do: Expect to hear snickers and receive strange looks. People will be giving you attention, even if they don’t approach you directly.
- Do: Make eye contact with whoever you’re talking to. No one wants to feel like they’re being ignored because of technology.
The rules of Gletiquette are the same as most other forms of technology: don’t let it get in the way of real world experiences and relationships. Almost all of these tips can be applied to the iPhone and Siri when they first came out. We adapted to smartphones, and will probably adapt to Google Glass as well.