Taking a look at “Look Up”


“I have 422 friends, yet I’m lonely.”

So begins “Look Up,” the five minute-long spoken word film by Gary Turk that has gone viral since it was posted at the end of April.

The video is a love story, a cautionary tale, and a passionate plea all at once, as it encourages viewers to look up from their phones and start interacting face-to-face.

Social media is dominating us, but we can’t let it. That’s the message of the video, and it’s compelling.

But I watched this video from my cell phone.

I watched it after multiple Facebook friends shared it on their walls, and after both my parents emailed it to me.

This video has been catapulted into the national spotlight largely due to the social media that it so strongly condemns.

Frankly, I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about how ironic this is.

It’s a moving film, and I’m sure many people immediately closed their computer screens or logged out of Twitter in a newly inspired effort to be present.

But I’m sure just as many people, feeling just as moved, hit the “share” button or re-tweeted the link to show the video to their friends and followers.

So while the message is moving and the rhyming is clever, how effective can this video really be?

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with all of Turk’s points and am just as worried about our generation’s addiction to technology as the next person. But, we have to be realistic.

We’re not going to turn off our phones and delete our accounts just because some YouTube video advises us to. And while we should all be more conscious of our behavior, it’s okay to use social media as long as we stick to our limits.

It’s just a matter of knowing those limits.