Look Up – Look Away
Alternative reality – majority does not look up
Here’s a winter 2015 “look up” update to a story we did last summer. And I think we’ve about done it!
From my observations, it’s my “guesstimate” that now a majority (over 50%) of the people “out and about” in public are heads-down on their phones at any given point in time.
Isn’t that unhealthy for the brain to not “soak up” your surroundings when traveling from point to point? Can any of that digital communication (or entertainment) be done while you’re stationary and at home? When digital memories start replacing actual analog, real-world experiences – I suppose you can say we now truly live in the matrix.
Look up at the dog park? Not in Hoboken!
Here’s a “look up” update from a story published last month. A prime example of how truly anti-social “social networks” make people in real physical life.
You know, people often claim that one of their main reasons for living in a densely populated city like Hoboken is to “socialize,” or make friends. “Be around people,” etc.
Below is a scene from the Church Square Park dog run (before the tree inexplicably fell). People standing around, not making eye contact, and just absorbed in their digital worlds. Maybe if this scene was 10 years ago, they might fall in love and start a family. Not today. Too awkward to have a real conversation, you know?
And on a related note, do you think “Googling” your potential date ahead of time has improved the quality or length of relationships? I doubt that! If anything, the whole social scene has likely caused more stress!
Look Up – Look Away – How social is “social” media?
Judging by the number of view on YouTube, the ultra-viral “Look Up” video has been seen by nearly 0.5% of the earth’s population – so there’s a good chance most of you around this high-tech urban mecca have already seen it. And even more so if you’re “connected” via social networks like Facebook.
Does the “Look Up” video cover all points sufficiently?
But here’s some commentary.
For one, many people bashed this guy for getting the message out – yep – via a technology platform like YouTube and social media. How ironic that is, right?
I have to say I struggle with the same conundrum. To recognize a social “ill,” yet walk the very same fine gray line. Kind of takes away a bit of the “bite” of your message, doesn’t it?
However, I think that the problem with his video – is that he “generalized” the mobile smart phone. “Using” a smart phone (which is essentially the equivalent to a mini-computer) varies greatly.
“Relying” on your phone for a majority of your daily time is a grave mistake in my opinion. Directions. How-to. Recipes. Advice. Instructions. Those can actually be acceptable in certain situations where you’re at “wits end,” but every step you take?
And what I feel that 90% of the “heavy” mobile users do – is not what I mentioned in the sentence above – but rather get “lost” in the minutia of social interaction. A 24 hour comment box that needs constant “checking in.” They want to see new comments. Or add comments of their own. Or be observers of “heated debates” between friends, often distancing themselves from each other. It’s sickening, really.
What Gary Turk should have done to make his “poetic” video 1000% better – is to single out the “offenders” more specifically.
I for one, will use the mobile device occasionally too. To make phone calls. A photo in a pinch. A text to a friend. Check 411 email. Pretty standard stuff.
But the people that have all but become CONSUMED by the #1 offender FACEBOOK need to look within to figure out what it is that they cannot (or care not to) make eye-contact with other human beings. That scene from the video above – where the girl sits down at the bus stop – while a dramatic re-enactment – was SPOT ON in terms of how it looks in the real world. People measure “eye contact time” now in tenths of a second. That is how little recognition and observation people give these days. It’s almost insulting to get viewed, “sized-up,” and judged by some narcissistic freak in less than one second. Karma goes both ways, bitches!
His video should have been more specific to the main reason people are absorbed. Facebook, I have to admit, was (and still is) a brilliant sociopathic clusterfuck. Like a perfect storm of technology, human psychology, and marketing all in one – and at the right time (for FB “insiders…”)
“Need” – “Want” – or “I have no fucking clue?”
Here’s an experiment for you. I doubt ANY of you would do this.
But leave your phone at home. As hard as that may be (harder the younger you are). Sit at a bus stop in Hoboken. Or stand on a corner with a friend. Stay there for a couple hours (without getting an annuerism from no social network updates).
The first hour for those “addicted,” will feel strange. You’ll feel almost “naked.” Don’t worry – the feeling will pass.
As your second hour arrives, you’ll actually feel less burdened. You’ll feel more at home in your environment. Amazing how fast it works, right? Although many of you may not even make it this long – and will rush home to refresh to find your latest “can’t miss” update. (Without wondering how people survived before this…)
But those who’ve endured – will start seeing an amazing TREND. A majority of people that pass you by on the streets of Hoboken will:
- Have headphones on (automatic “don’t talk to me mother fucker!” look too)
- Be heads down looking at phone display
And in general this trend gravitates towards younger people – and is profoundly lesser the older you get.
Final thought: Not the phone – but how you use it
Like I already said – the creator of this video “generalized” phones – not how you use them.
I don’t think you need to leave your phone HOME whatsoever.
What people SHOULD do is uninstall or DELETE the time-wasting SOCIAL apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, FourSquare, and the 1000’s of other useless bullshit programs that really don’t add much true value to your lives. The phone itself is actually a fairly helpful device slash pocket-computer if used in a sensible way.
There are programs that could be deemed useful in a case of a true NEED. But superficial digital social networking (which essentially boils down to “bull-shitting in the Matrix”), is not a need for anyone. I don’t care how many kittens are saved, or plastic bags are recycled. It does more harm, divides more people, and creates more societal chaos than ever.
Keep the phone. Dump the social bullshit.