“Look Up”

A certain Youtube video went viral this week, circling the internet with tag lines like, “MUST WATCH!” and “A Wake Up Call for the Online Generation.” After seeing it more than five times on my Facebook newsfeed, I decided to give in and give it a chance. “Look Up” is a spoken word recitation, written, performed and directed by Gary Turk.

It begins simply, “I have 422 friends. Yet I am lonely. I talk to them everyday, yet none of them really know me.” The message of this poem is clear. We are a generation chained to our phones, computers, and iPads and it’s time we begin looking up in order to really be present in life.

While there are some who really, really, really hate the video, Turk is not wrong when he says that more than ever, we struggle to be present. This is not to say we should start a strike against technology and glare at every person who’s typing on their phone on the bus instead of making awkward eye contact. But it is a call for all of us to reevaluate how much we actually need to have our phones out during lunch. Let’s look our friends in the eye; it won’t kill us.