At this point, you’ve likely watched the “Look Up” video or at least witnessed several of your friends share the viral video across social networks, claiming it’s “so true” and mocking people for not getting out and living in the “real world.”
The video itself tells a poetic story of a man who turns off his computer, looks up from his phone and found true love and a life full of adventure. Despite being about as cheesy and cliched as a Hallmark made for TV movie, it’s getting shared around the Internet faster than a photo of a child with cancer begging for likes to trade for medical treatment.
The entire concept of a video telling people how to live their lives is ridiculous. I get it, it’s poetic and is supposed to have some sort of artistic value and encourage people to get off their asses and do something with their lives. But it doesn’t. Instead, it simply results in the stay-at-home mom generation of social media users putting on their keyboard activist hardhats and clicking the share button. That’s not inspiring, it’s hypocritical.
Both the video and its supporters fail to recognize the modern world we live in. The thinking it instills is nothing but bible camp ideology straight out of 1999, when the fear of Y2K stocked the storm cellars of feeble-minded people across the world. All that’s missing are some poetic words about robots stealing all of our jobs for it to come full circle.
On top of that, the video was created using many forms of technology and uploaded to a website coded by people who have to keep their eyes glued to the screen just to keep it running. And how is it being shared? Oh, that’s right. On social media, by people claiming social media isn’t very social. News flash: The very act of sharing a video so it becomes a part of someone else’s life is a social behavior. Within the modern age, we have the ability to interact with people we wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
If you think you need a video to tell people to “live a little,” you obviously don’t take the “real world” into account. The current world we live in is propagated by technology. Simply put, it’s a form of evolution. I have college classes online, I work online, chat with friends online and I even engage in most of my hobbies online. Does that mean I’m disconnected from the “real world?” Fuck no, it means I’m constantly connected to it.
If I want to share a photo of my cat wearing a top hat, it’s more efficient to share it on a social network instead of calling up someone to describe how cute it is or having to print out photos and mail them to the people I think would appreciate it. Have you seen the price of stamps lately?
Obviously, an important part of living is experiencing new things, outside of the home. Nobody denies this. However, if I wanted to go skydiving, I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to go about doing so, but Google does.
We have the world’s collective knowledge in our pocket. We shouldn’t be afraid of it, we should embrace it.
This argument is beyond tired at this point. Obviously, it’s not healthy to barricade oneself indoors and cut off all contact with the outside world. No one does that. Well, maybe the average Redditor, but I digress. As I previously was saying, moderation is required in everything we do. That’s just common sense. But to cut off the Internet and modern technology on the basis of “living,” we would only find ourselves committing social suicide. The underlining message we should take away from all of this is how to prevent ourselves from suffering from information overload.
Without the Internet, I wouldn’t have met some of the most incredible people I know, including my girlfriend. I most certainly would not have made great strides toward overcoming the crippling anxiety I’ve suffered from all my life. Needless to say, I’m grateful for social media. And you should be, too.