Social media has given people the opportunity to be more connected than ever. So why are we so lonely and more disconnected from real life than ever?
Yesterday on the metro, I looked around – during rush hour – and not a single person was looking at anything but their phones. The train was packed full of people and every single person had their earbuds in and were checking Facebook or sending an email.
We’re so connected – yet so disconnected from everyday life.
I can’t even count the number of times over the past month that I have talked to people lamenting about how lonely they are, or how they don’t feel like they have any true friends, or how they aren’t dating anyone and feel alone.
We have it all, yet we have nothing.
A recent video about smartphones and our connection to them went viral, and I mean really viral. In one week, this video has over 28 million views, which is more than the number of views that Taylor Swift’s video “Red” has garnered in 10 months.
This video is huge. And it seems to have really struck a cord with people.
“Look Up” tells a story – and within that, it tells a beautiful love story. The love story is one that may have never been. If the couple had been engrossed in social media, they may have missed the opportunity in real life that they had to meet.
In a world where we continue to find ways that make it easier for us to connect, we’re becoming more disconnected from everyday life. Many times we miss out on the everyday interactions and experiences that we might have had, if we hadn’t been so concerned with the number of ‘likes’ we had on a Facebook post or with what our friends were doing (via Facebook).
“We’re slaves to the technology that we’ve mastered,” the video’s narrator says. Instead of being productive and present, we’re being unproductive and disconnected from our everyday lives. The narrator says, “we’re becoming un-social. It no longer satisfies to engage with one another and look into their eyes.” Many people are unable to hold eye contact when they’re in a conversation with someone because their too concerned with what is going on elsewhere (their smartphone). We have “social ADD” and can’t focus on anything other than a million things – all at once.
Mid-conversation people are looking around (presumably to see who else is there) or checking their email or Facebook on their smartphone. We have social ADD.
“We are a generation of idiots; Smartphones and dumb people,” the video states. How many conversations have you been in where some says mid-conversation, “Oh. Let me just Google it.” People do that all the time. While it’s great to have the answer to any question at your fingertips, it takes the intrigue and interest out of conversation and debate.
It only takes one connection to change your whole world. But, what if we miss it? We’re so concerned with what is going on in the outside world that we miss what’s going on in our world. One little spark can light up your world and impact your whole life. This video shows the power of one connection, a love story that was, but may have never been.
It celebrates love and “the time you don’t have to tell hundreds of what you’ve just done, because you want to share this moment with just one.” Instead of celebrating with just one person, we feel the need to tell the world. Why? We have lost a sense of intimacy and privacy, and instead of simply living our lives, our lives have become some sort of competition or show-and-tell.
The video shows a wedding, a marriage, children, and living a full life with just one (plus children). But this is a life that may have never been, simply because we were too busy looking down at our phones. When you’re looking down and your earbuds are plugged into your smartphone, you don’t know the chances you will miss.
The video closes with, “Don’t waste your life getting caught in the net. Give people your love, not a ‘like’. Stop watching this video and live life the real way.”
Stop reading this article and get off the web. Unplug from the internet and go live your life. Embrace every moment and soak it all in.