I got a call today from ABC.com’s Joanna Stern about Google’s Goggles. She’s very nice. But I had a fit when she started by asking me about all that could go wrong with the new technology. That is your angle? I screeched?
OMFG. Why must that be the starting point for media? Technology bad. Technology scary. Ooh. Ooh. We must save world from new technology. We must think all bad things to happen with technology. Our people sheep. Sheep scared. Stupid sheep. We big protectors.
GMAFB. (Figure it out.)
I said: Imagine all the wonderful things this amazing technology could do, alerting people to news around them, enabling them to report news around them, finding out information, staying connected… I can’t wait to try on a pair.
I suggested she look at the case of the heinous Girls Near Me app this week. It made terrible and disgusting use of technology that could be used to good ends — to, for example, find Starbucks near me or friends near me or repair people near me or cops near me. The world quickly freaked out and for good reason. Apple and Facebook quickly cut the assholes off. Case solved. System worked.
I said that when phones came with cameras, we heard freakouts about people taking them into gym locker rooms. Gyms promptly banned them. Case solved. System worked.
New technologies arrive. We take a little time — as quickly as days as long as months or even years — to negotiate our new norms. And then life proceeds — better, thanks to said new technology.
Why the hell must media and government begin with the default of Chicken Little? I’m sick of it.
Here is Stern’s piece. I had much more to say. You can now imagine what I said.