Keller @ Large: Google’s Glasses Could Ruin The Wink

BOSTON (CBS) – Technology has gone too far, that’s all I can say about the news that those new Google glasses with a built-in screen for all-important hands-free texting and web surfing will also enable the user to take a picture simply by…winking.

It’s called Winky, and it’s a terrifying new wrinkle.

It’s bad enough that every last person now has a camera in their hand at all times, ready to take pictures of everything from sunsets to pets to food to…you, doing something you’d rather not have captured and uploaded for mankind to enjoy.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

But what makes Winky truly scary is the possibility it could permanently ruin one of the most expressive gestures in the human pantheon – the wink.

A wink can mean many things.

It can be flirtatious.

And it’s often used to let someone know you’re joking or fibbing, an especially useful gesture in a culture where, increasingly, people who get the joke are harder to find.

But in other cultures, winking can have very different meaning.

In China, people can and do take offense at a wink.

In parts of West Africa, parents use it as a discreet sign to their kids that it’s time for them to leave the grownups alone.

And I have a confession to make. Sometimes, when I’m peppering a politician with questions, I like to throw in a wink, just to confuse him.

No real reason. It’s just fun.

But now, thanks to Google and company, we’re on the verge of the wink being reduced to the slightly creepy message that someone’s taking your picture, most likely a total stranger.

This marks the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it, don’t you agree?

(Wink wink.)

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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