Yesterday I came across an inspiring video called “Look up” by Gary Turk. Ironically, it has now reached over 29 million views on Youtube, liked by over 200 000 people and I’m not even counting the shares and comments.
Before I get into it, take a look at what I’m talking about and think.
Now why did I say the fact that it has received so much attention is ironic ? Well because, the video was posted on a social media website. Because people who’ve watched the video, had access to it through social media. Because those who shared the video and commented and liked it, were logged onto their social media account (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube…).
The crazy thing is, most of us probably didn’t do a thing to change our way of living. We’re way too comfortable in this technology-run world. In fact, you’re reading this on a computer or tablet, or something electronic. I’m typing on my laptop, with Youtube and Facebook open in other tabs.
Gary Turk’s video finishes by urging us to put down our phones and go outside. I’m pretty sure 3/4 of the viewers went back to Facebook, typing “OMG so true… You guys watch this!” as their status.
Here’s what we should do (and when I say “we”, I really mean you and me):
1) Whenever you cook something, FIGHT the urge to take a picture and post it on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. Instead, you should remember the recipe, and be happy that you cook like a pro.
2) If there is at least one other person in the room with you, PUT your phone/tablet away. Like Gary said, you do not need to look at your contact list, menu, Facebook notifications. Just say “Hello.”
3) STOP hashtagging (#swag) unnecessarily on Instagram, Twitter (or Facebook now, eww.) Hashtags are so that random people can find your pictures and statuses and comment/like them. Do you know how pathetic that is ? Just so people can notice you, you’re getting their attention with a mere #.
4) On a date, in a meeting, in class, watching a movie, TURN OFF your phone. Don’t put it on silent, turn it off. That way you can enjoy, concentrate understand whatever you’re doing. If you’re too busy checking your notifications, you’ll miss half of what the person in front of you is saying.
5) In the street, in public transportation and especially when driving, KEEP your phone in your pocket. You don’t have to play Candy Crush Saga or Despicable Me. Instead, you can enjoy the music on your iPod, read a real paper book, or communicate with people around you.
6) Delete the games off your phone, but KEEP them on your computer/tablet. Most people take their cellphones with them wherever they go. Most people only take their laptops or tablets to class or work. Whenever we’re sitting down somewhere, waiting for something or bored, we tend to take out our phones and play games. DON’T. It’s not only lame, it’s horrible for your eyes and chances are you should be concentrating on more important things. On a break from work, you can play those silly games on your tablet or laptop, devices you wouldn’t whip out in class or at the office because they’re too obvious.
7) At home, after a long day’s work, LEAVE your phone in your room. Go to the kitchen, get a snack without your phone. Go to the gym, without your phone. Shower, without your phone (yes, I know you put it on the toilet cover while you shower, just so you can hear the phone ring). Read a book, without your phone. Interact with your family members/roommate without your phone.
8) Don’t TURN OFF social media, discipline yourself. You’re probably going to say it’s best to just cancel your Facebook account, but that means you’ve lost. That means that social media has taken so much of a toll on your life that you can’t even function so you have to remove it. If you’re an adult, you can manage. Keep in contact with your friends online, just make sure you do exactly the same in real life. Also, stop snapchatting me please.
9) If you don’t have a social media account, GET one. This may seem controversial and stupid, but hear me out. (Yes, I mean you, Mother !) We all understand how awesome and in control of your privacy you are. But now that we’re in 2014, we have to face the facts: it’s easier to communicate within seconds around the world through social media. Now that companies, students and co-workers can all communicate in the same place, that means whatever you want to advertise, will be advertised and promoted immediately. You don’t have to put everything about your life on your social media account. Learn how to use it: privacy settings, how to add/block contacts, how to communicate. If you have a business, create a Facebook or LinkedIn page for it, you don’t have to make a personal one for yourself. If you’re a student or looking for a job, I highly suggest you create a Facebook and LinkedIn page. Chances are you’ll come across job opportunities, events, seminars and people with experience. If you are neither, I suggest you do whatever you want with your life because one day you’ll need social media anyway.
10) STOP thinking about everyone else’s opinion. Why do we have Facebook “likes” ? So people can rate whatever we published. Why do we have a comment section for everything we post ? Why do we have “favorites” and “retweets” on Twitter ? Why do we hashtag (like I mentioned before) ? So people will give us feedback on our lives. NO. You look ridiculous, you should sue ! (Quote from Princess Diaries, sorry.) Really, stop liking personal things on Facebook like statuses and profile pictures. It only encourages us to expect feedback from our network. “Like”, “comment”, “share”, “retweet” something that you actually want people to know about, learn about, think about.
You guys, this is going to be a lot harder than we think. Social media is everywhere. Sharing our private lives is automatic for our generation. It’s our job, as the 90’s kids to stop this trend. You know why ? The kids born in 2000+ don’t want to learn from the 80’s, 70’s or 60’s, they’re too far away for them. We are the last ones that had a childhood without Blackberries, iPads and Facebook. We are also the first generation that entered adulthood with advanced technology. It’s our job to teach these kids how to paint, cook, draw, sing, instead of learning it all from a tablet. We can teach the next generation how to build a tree house instead of instagramming a tree.
It just starts with us looking up from our phones.