Sergey Brin described using a smart phone as an emasculating experience during a conference yesterday. He was comparing the use of a smart phone with Google’s upcoming Glass ( Think smartphone meets shades) release. More then likely this was a throw away line, but being the busy body social worker that I am, it infuriated me.
“Is the future of connection just people walking around hunched up, looking down, rubbing a featureless piece of glass? In an intimate moment, he says, “It’s kind of emasculating. Is this what you’re meant to do with your body?””
There are so many things wrong with that statement, it is almost difficult to pick where to start. First off, how is touching the side of your head, or gazing off into an image directly in front of your face more intimate? It got me thinking that this very rich man does not understand the words he is using.
in·ti·mate 1 (nt-mt)
1. Marked by close acquaintance, association, or familiarity.
2. Relating to or indicative of one’s deepest nature: intimate prayers.
3. Essential; innermost:
Clearly gazing off into some non-existent distance is not bringing you closer to the people around you. More so, it is unclear how a glorified pair of glasses will allow a person to explore their “deepest nature”. Perhaps he was thinking of ways that one can have an intimate relationship with oneself, but there are certainly more intimate ways to entreat in that respect as well.
Is Mr. Brin trying to insinuate that using a smart phone is some way could castrate a man? If that is the case, what sort of effect does a smart phone have on a woman? Clearly this absurd rendering is not what he had in mind. Let me translate this brilliant assessment of the use of smart phones. Using your smart phone is depriving you of strength and vigor. That is straight from the mouth of a man who makes billions selling smart phones to the world. Somehow gazing into a pair of glasses will not deprive you of your vigor, which is nice to know. In the future our vigor will be restored when we shell out $1500 to Google so we can look ridiculous walking down the street. I imagine in 10 years, after Google and Mr. Brin has taken trillions of dollars from society, that even the glasses will be emasculating and we will require contact lenses take us further from real world.
Words are funny, often we forget that underneath their usage they actually mean something, clearly Mr. Brin has.