Looking up isn’t always as great as it seems

I’m sure you’ve seen this video by now. Look Up cautions young folks to get their heads out of their phone, that social media love isn’t real love and that if they want to meet the person of their dreams, they better look up.

Have a watch:

I was skeptical before I watched it and, to be honest, I didn’t lose my skepticism by its close. At best, it just shifted a little.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally believe that there is benefit in unplugging, that we need to connect as humans and not just smartphones. I lament the days when we talked to one another instead of texted. At the same time, I also enjoy the luxuries we’re afforded by technology in this day and age. I like being able to drop someone a line without any awkward silence on a phone call with minimal substance. I love Twitter and sometimes I don’t hate Facebook. The day I watched that video, I nearly cried on my way home when I watched a child, not yet adapted to the new reality of the world, search faces in a crowd, looking for connection, only to find every single person surrounding him engrossed in their electronics. I cringe at myself every time and elderly person asks me for directions or wants to chat on our shared commute and I have to ask them to repeat themselves because I’ve shut myself into the world in my iPod instead of the world around me.

What was I still skeptical? Two things that stuck out for me when I finished watching that video.

  1. There are many ways to meet people. There are people in my life who I would never have met had it not been for the internet. That list is long and includes some of my closest friends, favourite people AND the man with whom I share my life. Kevin and I met on Twitter.
  2. The person who wrote that and the people who were most supportive of it (in my life, on my Facebook) were people who have never taken public transit, who drive to their corner store – people who have little interaction with random strangers. Random strangers are a great concept when they’re cute and want your phone number, but, let me tell you, you can run into some real characters in your travels. If you took transit for a while, you might quickly realize that in some situations, looking up isn’t nearly as romantic as this video makes it seem.

5 Comments

  1. Like almost everything in life, there’s a balance to be struck. I think the video makes good points insomuch as we’ve probably reached a tipping point as a society where we’ve sunk a bit TOO much into our devices and our virtual network and need to be reminded to pull back again and balance that interaction between our online and physical relationships and involvement, but to ditch it entirely? No. There are many benefits of BOTH, and the ideal circumstance is realizing how to glean the good aspects from all channels to make your life better and more fulfilled.

  2. agree! I wouldn’t be super jazzed about your visit if it weren’t for technology! In a world that is so centered around e-communication how many rainy day streetcar meet cutes are there really? eharmz wouldn’t be such a thriving business if everyone met their plus one on the bus or at the grocery store or randomly in a history class. I’m tech free at least once a week but am not unrealistic; BUT a good message is to capture, enjoy, marvel at simple beauty of nature/people/etc more often.

  3. The video made me very emotional, and I feel like there’s truth to it. But I, too, have met people and stayed in contact with people through the internet. I think it’s important to balance the two, to use online communication to support one-to-one connections rather than mostly for sharing everything with everyone. And yes, there are certainly times on the bus or train when being buried in something is a good idea- though I find a book works as well as a phone.

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