So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or are old and don’t give a crap about this sort of thing, you’ve more than likely heard about the imminent arrival of Google’s long awaited Project Glass. Essentially a wearable mobile device integrated with a pair of glasses, review devices have been doing the rounds with journalists for the past few weeks, and reviews are coming through.
First and foremost, I can’t deny that these things look pretty cool. A HUD (heads up display) is constantly in your field of vision, and can use augmented reality to project things like directions, or information banners above buildings, directly in your field of vision. You can use Google+ hangouts to voice and video chat with people whilst on the move, take photos with them, link it up to your phone, and voice activate all the features. It’s undeniably an impressive step forward in technology.
And for reasons I probably don’t have to explain, but will anyway, my first instinct is to recoil in horror at the acceleration towards total technological immersion that this is going to cause.
Let’s face it, things are already bad enough. Everywhere you go, people have their faces glued to their smartphones. Girls, with their biological need for social validation are generally the worst culprits, but many men are just as bad, particularly the beta/gamma feminised low testosterone boy children the world seems to be suddenly populated with. I was stood waiting for a bus earlier this week – and it’s a pretty regular bus service, every minute or two – and yet every single one of the 15 people stood around me evidently decided they couldn’t make it through the next 60 seconds without being able to know what their spastic mates were having for dinner on Facebook. If someone from 25 years in the past could have seen the scene, they’d have thought we’d all gone mad. Maybe we have.
I’m sure we’ve all read date reports from guys who have gone out with girls who seem to be incapable of leaving their phones in their purses for longer than 30 seconds at a time. Just imagine – oh the joy – when she is wearing her phone on her face. With the increased frequency in online social interaction that these things will cause (people won’t even have to pull their phones out of their pockets to take and share a photo of their food any more), her expression is going to be going blank at 10 second intervals as she adjusts her focus on to her glasses to check how many likes her latest online offal has garnered. That said, in some ways, it could end up being a very useful screening technique – if a girl shows up wearing them, and refuses to take them off when you politely ask “Could you please take those off and leave them in your bag for the duration of our date”, then you can swiftly kick the time-wasting attention-whoring bitch into touch, and go and spend your time on something more productive, like bashing your head against a wall.
So to expand a little… We human beings are animals designed to exist within a social hierarchy. Even if you’re not aware of it, you are constantly pinging your surrounding environment to determine your rank within it. “Am I taller than him? Is he better dressed than me? Is that girl out of my league? Could that dude beat the shit out of me?”. These aren’t conscious thought processes. It’s just part of how your brain operates, an evolutionary mechanism designed to determine your rank. When you ping the environment and find yourself to be superior to those around you, you give yourself permission to act confidently.
The same process happens to a greater or lesser extent (depending on the person) online. When you are browsing your Twitter feed, reading about the latest exploits of some master level PUA dude, you cannot help but subconsciously compare yourself, and come away feeling slightly less good about your own accomplishments by comparison. It doesn’t mean you are insecure or pathetic, it’s just an inherent part of being human.
I deliberately make an effort to keep my phone in my pocket as much as possible, but even I catch myself getting sucked in sometimes (not as good as being sucked off). Got a spare minute? Facebook –> Twitter –> Rss –> repeat ad nauseum. Sometimes it’s fine, and I have a laugh and read something informative, sometimes I come away feeling worse. I often catch myself looking at my phone the nanosecond I open my eyes in the morning – how many of the rest of us do that too? As a rule, the less often I check my social feeds, the better my mood is. I’m able to concentrate on being present in the moment, and immersing myself in my environment.
Imagine then if you will, what this is going to be like when people are wearing their social media feeds on their face. Total immersion every second of the day. Constant comparison to others, continual validation seeking. For those of us with rock solid self-identity and core confidence, it won’t be so bad. But if you’re like the other 99% of the world – prepare to never be able to reach that level as long as you insist on immersing yourself in other people’s opinions and views all the time.
Each passing generation is getting more and more plugged in. There are a plethora of persistent online worlds for you to escape from reality in. Back when I was 26, I lost a whole year of my life to World Of Warcraft. I even ran a fucking guild with 150 people in it, which became a second full time occupation. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that dudes will be able to leverage positions of power within these worlds to get poon – if a girl spends all her time in one of these places, then she’s still going to be attracted to social status, virtual or not. Hypergamy is hypergamy. Hell, I even flew over to Sweden to fuck a girl who was a member of my guild.
So how to cope with this barrage of technological social missiles? This isn’t a new idea, but I would urge you to set aside only 1 or 2 “windows” in the day where you permit yourself to check Twitter, rss, Facebook etc. For the rest of the time, the phone stays in your pocket. Got notifications turned on for these things? Turn them off. Disable any browser plugins that ping you the second you get an email or a Facebook notification. Trust me, your productivity, concentration, and general mood will improve greatly.
In a way, I’m actually looking forward to the world getting more and more plugged in. Because as someone who has now almost totally self-actualised, with great conversational skills, it’s just going to make my job of picking up hot girls even easier. If you are able to converse effortlessly face to face, making people laugh, completely at ease with yourself, you’re going to stand out like a beacon of glowing charisma in a bleak world of introverted technophiles.
Don’t get me wrong, there are legitimately cool uses for this technology. For example, in the review I read, the journalist was able to take his mother on a virtual motorbike ride with him, via a Google+ hangout. The noise, the motion, every turn was broadcast live, something she’d never have been able to experience otherwise. For business men who can’t bear to be away from their emails for more than 2 seconds, these things will be a godsend (or at least they think they will). I do actually plan to get a pair myself, but to only use them as a tool, just as I use my phone. If I need to do something, they’ll come out of my pocket, I’ll do it, and then they’ll go back in their case and away again. I personally could not imagine anything worse then being continually harassed by banal social updates all fucking day long.
Like it or not, this is direction society is heading. And like everything else, it is your job as a man who wishes to succeed in life to figure out how to leverage this to your own advantage.