by Al Sacco

10 Google Glass Etiquette Dos and Don’ts

May 30, 2014 7 mins
Consumer Electronics Mobile Small and Medium Business

There's not necessarily a right or wrong way to use Google Glass, but there are certainly smart and not-so-smart ways.'s own Glass Explorer Al Sacco shares 10 Glass etiquette dos and don'ts.

Google Glass Etiquette

Google Glass is one of the most intriguing wearables available today. Due in part to the fact that the gadget looks so different, and sits right on the user’s face, it’s hard to miss. When observed in public, Glass draws equal parts curiosity and ire. Glass use has led to driving citations, physical assaults and interrogations by federal agents. In one U.S. city, it’s become a symbol of gentrification and unwelcome social change. In other words, Glass is a lightning rod. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to use it, but there is etiquette that should be followed. (Disclosure: I’m a Glass owner, and proud of it.)

Do Understand Glass Can Make People Uncomfortable

Do Understand Glass Can Make People Uncomfortable

Glass is really a first-of-its-kind product. The device is foreign to many folks, especially the less tech-savvy, and it’s quite literally “in your face.” It’s tough to miss the guy sitting next to you on the bus with Glass. As such, it inspires a wide range of emotion, especially since many people simply have no idea what it does and fear the worst. Glass users should be sensitive to the fact that people who don’t understand Glass might not want you wearing it around them. This isn’t say that you shouldn’t wear and use Glass when you want to (unless it’s strictly prohibited), but you should beware of its effects on your surroundings.

Don’t Be Confrontational or Act Entitled When Wearing Glass

Don't Be Confrontational or Act Entitled When Wearing Glass

Most people who buy Glass probably aren’t looking to be inconspicuous. Until very recently, Glass was only available to a select few, and its $1,500 price tag turned it into a sort of status symbol. If you strut through a busy city square wearing Glass like it’s a tech-version of a purebred purse dog, you’ll likely draw attention—but it might not be the kind of attention you seek. If someone asks about Glass, or perhaps, makes a disparaging remark, don’t be confrontational. If the question is reasonable, answer it to the best of your ability. If the question is not reasonable, walk away and remove Glass, if necessary. Don’t act entitled and/or defensive and make the situation worse.

Do Be Friendly When Using Glass

Do Be Friendly When Using Glass

“Image by Image via Google

Within reason, you should be responsive and informative if people around you ask about Glass. Glass is expensive and somewhat delicate, but letting people you trust—or at least, don’t distrust—handle and experience it is a generally a good thing. If you’re at a party wearing Glass, you’re probably going to get a lot of attention. If you’re on the golf course, using Glass, stop to talk to curious folks waiting to tee up behind you. Try to be open and friendly to the extent that you can. If you sense that Glass is making people uncomfortable, remove it or move to another area.

Don’t Wear Glass in Private or Sensitive Environments

Don't Wear Glass in Private or Sensitive Environments

This etiquette tip should be obvious, and it’s an important one: Never wear Glass in private environments where cameras are not allowed. Public bathrooms, gym locker rooms, movie theatres, doctors’ offices, certain concerts or performances and restricted areas of museums, for example, are all places that you should avoid while wearing Glass. Glass is, of course, much more than just a camera, but you shouldn’t use it anywhere that cameras are prohibited or discouraged.

Do Remove Glass if Requested

Do Remove Glass if Requested

If you’re in a bar, restaurant or other establishment and someone who works there asks you to remove Glass, you should do so without protest. After you do, you may want to ask about the reason for the request. You could be surprised to hear that it makes sense. Even if the reason sounds silly, you should comply with the request and, as politely as possibly, state your case. Don’t argue or protest, but explain your stance. If it could help, ask the worker if they’d like to try Glass to see how it works.

Don’t be a Glass Fanboy

Don't be a Glass Fanboy

Glass costs $1,500, no small sum, and as such, there’s a tendency for Glass Explorers to want to (self) justify their purchases by defending the device at all costs, no matter its faults. It’s one thing to enjoy and appreciate Glass. It’s another to unconditionally defend a new, relatively unproven device that’s just now being publicly released. Love Glass. Sing its virtues. But realize it’s not for everyone. It never will be. It’s also not perfect, and that’s OK. Unconditional Glass love just makes you look diluted, and it really doesn’t help the Glass cause.

Do Remember Glass Makes You Look Strange (Maybe Crazy)

Do Remember Glass Makes You Look Strange (Maybe Crazy)

“Image by Image via Engadget

Some of the latest frames for Glass have vastly improved the overall look of Google’s wearable computer, but it’s still, well…weird-looking—especially if you’re not familiar with it. Don’t be surprised if you get strange looks from passersby, and do expect reactions in general. Glass doesn’t give observers an excuse to be rude, but it will draw attention, and you should be prepared for it. It’s also easy to forget how Glass looked to you the first time you saw it. So remember: Glass really does make you look strange…and possibly crazy.

Don’t Put Yourself at Risk by Wearing Glass

Don't Put Yourself at Risk by Wearing Glass

If you’re in a neighborhood where you wouldn’t wear a $1,500 watch or carry your new computer for fear of a robbery or worse, don’t wear Glass in that area. Glass is an expensive luxury item, and it’s also relatively light and easy to grab from an unsuspecting wearer. Don’t put yourself at risk of Glass theft. In San Francisco, Glass has become a physical manifestation of the largely tech-driven gentrification in the city; as such, it could be more risky to wear Glass in and around the Bay Area. Whenever you are, if it seems like a bad idea to wear Glass, it probably is.

Do Be a Glass Ambassador (AmGlassador?)

Do Be a Glass Ambassador (AmGlassador?)

“Image by Image via Google

A central theme of this post is the fact that some people are turned off or intimidated by Glass because they simply don’t understand it. Do your fellow Glass users, and those who will follow, a big favor and advance the cause through education and positive representation. Use Glass responsibly and demonstrate why it’s not something to be afraid of. If you have a bad experience because of Glass, discuss it online, but be civil and try to understand why the situation unfolded the way it did. Don’t act entitled and incite online riots that put Glass users in a bad light. (I’m looking at you, Katy Kasmai.)

Don’t be a Glasshole

Don't be a Glasshole

Don’t give skeptical people reason to distrust others who wear Glass. Don’t insult people who don’t understand and don’t want to understand Glass. Don’t be sneaky or try to hide that you’re wearing Glass. Don’t wear Glass to draw attention to yourself when you’re not using or planning to use it. Don’t wear Glass as some sort of fashion accessory. Don’t argue with anyone who has the legal right to tell you to remove Glass, even if you disagree with the reasoning. Don’t use Glass to take pictures or capture video of unknowing subjects, if you think they’d disapprove. In other words, don’t be a Glasshole.