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The advent of Google Glass might an important moment in technological history, but it’s also the world’s first panty-upper.
Remember the simpler days when the unsexiest thing a guy could carry around with him was his beeper? Unless he’s a doctor or otherwise on call to save lives, seeing a guy carrying a beeper in 2014 is a sign that there might be something seriously wrong with him, like that he’s a chronic masturbator or lives in a house made of human hair. Studies have shown that iPhone users get laid more than any other technological subgroup, and beeper people have got to be near bottom of the sexual totem pole, along with Nickelback fans and bus stop flashers.
But if there’s any group that should be the grouper fish, the lowest of the low sucking the moss of the bottom of the sexual fish tank, it should be Google Glass people.
Most ludicrous accessories you can forget about. If you’re dating a guy with a mullet, the party is only in the back. It’s all business in the front—so you can just ask him to never turn around. Tribal tattoos can be covered up with a tasteful cardigan or permanent marker. And a fanny pack, while mostly out of sight and out of mind, is really quite useful when you think about it. It’s a front butt you can put your keys in. How novel!
However, there’s no looking past a Google Glass device, because its stupidity is ever-present in the middle of someone’s face. If you’re at dinner, you can’t gaze lovingly into his eyes without seeing his creepy Minority Report half-glasses hanging there, as if your romantic Italian dinner has become Lady and the Tracking Device. How can you engineer your touching Disney moment if you’re concerned that you’re sharing it with 3,000 of his closest Facebook friends—none of which he actually knows in real life.
What’s even worse is that you can never be sure if he’s paying attention to you or trying to figure out what Deadly Historical Plague he would be on BuzzFeed? Is he leprosy or smallpox? He just has to know. It’s bad enough when a guy spends the entire date texting on his phone, and this goes one further: You have to constantly share him with his device, as if he can’t give up five seconds of precious Twitter time just to be present. You’re just another part of his daily feed, the integration of real life into his platform.
Like every status symbol purchase, Google Glass is meant to convey something to the world about the person using it. For iPad users, riding the train while tapping your device shows that you’re hip to new trends. A bright red sports car indicates that behind the six-figure salary is a guy who desperately wants you to forget about his small package.
But what kind of message are people trying to send with Google Glass? Is it an early adopter thing, a sign that you want to get in on the ground floor of something that might look less ridiculous 20 years from now? Maybe Google Glass users will have the last laugh in 2034, when they’ve upgraded to Google Ass, the world’s first device that connects you to the world through your bowel movements, and we’re still using iPhones.
However, we’re not in the future. We’re in 2014, where Google Glass users seem to be saying that you have $2000 to flush down the toilet in order to look like a half-human, half-machine toolbag. What’s sexy about wanting to look like R2-D2? A friend of mine once argued that there’s nothing hotter than someone who isn’t on social media, and Google Glass presents the opposite—total connectedness as the ultimate boner kill. It’s the world’s first panty-upper.
Whatever signal that guy wearing Google Glass is trying to give off from across the bar, as his half-hidden cyborg eyes beckon me to come hither, all I’m getting is one thing: There’s no possible way I’m going home with you tonight. I’ve always been a Han Solo kind of guy.
Nico Lang is an essayist, movie critic, and reporter who specializes in the intersection of politics and LGBTQ issues. His work has been featured in Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Jezebel, Esquire, and BuzzFeed, among other notable publications.