Why I refuse to Look Up

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About a month ago, I noticed the same video being shared all over my Facebook news feed. The captions were along the lines of “Everyone needs to watch this!” and “Wow…speechless” and “This was life changing!” so I had pretty high expectations when I watched London based writer Gary Turk’s video Look Up. Well, let’s just say that the only thing I liked about the video was the guy’s British accent…

First of all, isn’t it a little bit ironic that a video about not spending time on social media has been shared and viewed thousands of times by people using modes of social media like Facebook and Twitter? I literally just face palm when I see that someone has changed their Instagram bio to “We’re a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people.” Just… No.

Some people may say that because nowadays we have so much technology right at our hands, we need to take advantage of it and that’s why people are so glued to their screens. But I don’t think it’s about the smart phone at all. I don’t think it’s about today’s technology and it’s capabilities that allow us to be connected to the world at all times. So who’s to blame then for the rising amount of anti-social teenagers and car crashes due to people taking selfies? Well, it’s us.

Lemme explain this metaphorically: Life is all about making choices. For example, say I’m choosing what snack to eat: there are donuts and there are also bananas. Just because I have donuts available to me, doesn’t mean I have to choose to eat them. I can still make the choice to be healthy and eat the banana. The same thing goes for choosing to be on my smart phone. Yes, I have an iPhone with Internet and text messages and Instagram, but I also have friends who I can go spend time with and make memories with them. Even though iPhones, like donuts, are awesome and it’s rather tempting to make the “unhealthy” choice, I don’t need to. Because friends, like bananas, are actually pretty cool too, but sometimes we just forget that. We have the ability to make the choice. So when Gary Turk says that we live in “a world where we’re slaves to the technology we mastered”, there’s actually a really easy solution to that. We can make the choice.

Now you’re probably saying, “Wait, but isn’t that what the video was saying? We can make the choice to look up from our phones and go out and live our lives! What r u saying Sarah??” Ahh well you are correct, I am repeating exactly what the video has said so far. However, there is more. (Prepare yourself.)

Here is what I mainly didn’t like about the video: it didn’t speak at all about how it’s totally possible to live life with a smartphone without being addicted to it. Even though I may not choose to eat the donuts, it doesn’t mean I can never eat donuts. It doesn’t mean that I have to begin a high-carb banana diet and become FreeLee the Banana Girl. It’s okay to eat donuts sometimes, as long as I don’t eat them all the time. As my mother would say: everything in moderation. It’s completely possible to live a balanced life between the Internet world and the real world. (As Hannah Montana would say: ya got da beesssst of both wooorlds!)

And yes, it’s totally okay to have a life on the Internet. When I got my iPhone, it changed my life. I don’t even care if that makes me sound dumb because it’s just the truth. I discovered a passion for photography through Instagram that I never knew existed inside me (#followme @petitpolaroid and @swongski!!). I’ve also met some awesome people, mostly through Instagram, that I’ve developed real friendships with even though most of them live thousands of miles away. I’m actually hosting an instameet tomorrow where I’m going to get the chance to meet and take photos with a bunch of people, some of which I have never even met. And I think that’s incredible. The Internet is simply a fun environment that provides people with the opportunity to learn, share, and connect. I mean just think about this: it’s allowing me to share my opinion with the world through this blog!

The reason why we have things like smart phones and the Internet in the first place is because we invented them. Yes, in case you forgot, this is all our own doing! And these things were invented for a reason. Humans wouldn’t have invented these objects if they didn’t think they would be useful and would help make life easier. Obviously, they had no way of predicting what kind of long term positive and negative effects their inventions would actually have on the world, but their intentions were good.

I don’t think anyone should feel bad for having a smart phone. It’s totally okay as long as your face isn’t tied to the screen 24/7. I’m pretty sure the majority of people aren’t like that anyways… I mean I have friends who love their phones but I wouldn’t say that any of them have an unhealthy attachment to it. Let technology serve it’s purpose but just don’t let it take over your life. I find that it’s important to be aware of how much time I spend on my phone or computer and I do try to make the effort to balance it out with other activities in my daily life. That way, I can maintain a healthy, balanced life.

So basically to sum up my feelings in one sentence: TECHNOLOGY AND THE INTERNET ARE NOT EVIL THINGS. So next time you’re going out to meet your friends, you don’t have to feel the need to leave your phone at home. If you want to, just take it with you and take advantage of all those Instagrammable moments. And if anyone tells you to look up, just look up and give them your best bitch face :)))

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