Look Up From Your Phone

I wanted to share a video I stumbled across earlier today.

It’s called ‘Look Up’ and it highlights how technology today is ironically making us less social.

I found it thought provoking and it’s well worth five minutes of your time to watch (video and some more of my thoughts below).

I love that it got me thinking back to when I was a kid.

Back then, my full attention was on everything I did. There weren’t any laptops, ipads or phones.

Whether it was playing football, cards, marbles, video games, bike ride adventures or sleepovers. There was always lots of laughing, pushing and celebrating.

The feeling of scoring a goal and hi-fiving your friend who set you up as you slowly ran back to your half of the pitch. Man, that was the best feeling. I can even feel some of how it felt now, as I think back to it.

Even the video games we played were actually social.

Getting a last minute winner on Fifa. Beating the ghost rider on Mario Kart. Taking it in turns to try and beat the level you’d been stuck on for so long on Super Mario, Castlevania, Gradius or Goldeneye. Getting whooped by your mate on Streetfighter 2.

We’d all be round the console together. Lots of laughing, celebrating when someone beat the end boss or jumping in to get the controller for the next go when they failed.

We had fun and there was always bursts of excitement and happiness.

Nowadays, ‘social’ in a game is considered sending a Facebook friend a virtual gift from your phone which is purely designed that way by someone with the goal of increasing virality of a product. You’re a number on a dashboard someone is trying to increase. Trust me, I’ve been that person.

It sounds like I’m dissing technology and today’s products – I’m really not.

I feel so incredibly lucky to be part of a generation that got to experience the internet and smart phones. I meet more people, I learn more and I get things done quicker and better.

But, as with most good things in life, there can be a sacrifice.

It’s incredibly addictive (actually count the number of times you check your mail each day, you’ll be surprised by how big the number is) and if we’re honest – as a result – we’re less present and have less genuine connections with our friends and family.

For me the video isn’t about bashing technology. It’s simply a reminder to leave my phone at home from time to time. To turn it off some evenings. To check mail just a few times a day. To notice more of what’s going on around me. To use the internet for focused periods of time. To get outside more.

Oh, and to laugh and be happy with people I love.

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