Video of the Week – Look Up! A Love Story in a World of Technology

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“Give people your love, don’t give them your like.”

Look Up is an independent spoken-word film by UK writer and director Gary Turk about quitting social media, unplugging, and “that this media we call social is anything but, when we open our computers and it’s our doors that we shut”. Ironically a video about the negative impacts of social media has gone viral and currently has over 20 million views on YouTube.

For the most part this film has been well received, but there are many comments on Twitter and YouTube that feel Turk is leveraging social media for his own gain, nothing like a good controversy to get likes. Perhaps this is true, or maybe he genuinely believes technology, specifically social, is a detriment to society, either way people are engaging and that’s what the social web is all about.

“Hey @Gary_Turk , love your video making money off people on the internet trying to diss tech on the internet. Sheep.”

and

“Obviously the sole purpose of this video is to go viral and garner as much controversy and therefore Ad$ense revenue as possible in your 5 seconds of internet fame,” the comment read. “The hypocrisy is painful. Keep your straw men, we’ll keep our technology thanks.”

Gary admits that “I’m guilty too of being part of this machine, this digital world where we’re heard but not seen”. But does he really need to admit this in a video uploaded to YouTube and shared on Facebook and Twitter? Not very convincing.

This is not groundbreaking. Nothing in this film has not been said before. Personally I find the poem rather cheesy and the whole thing over dramatized. He makes some valid points, but technology, like anything in life, is about balance. My children use an iPad to play games and watch movies. And yes, I leave them on their own to do so while I do other things around the house. This does not make me a bad father. They still play outside with their friends, we wrestle on the floor, I still read them stories, and we bond.

Technology is here to stay. As a society we need to learn to live with it. It’s just another tool. We may be less social at times, but it also allows us to connect in different ways that are meaningful. For example, I can have Thanksgiving dinner with my parents in Toronto, while we eat in Montreal over Skype, yes we’ve done it. I can stay in touch with family and friends that without this technology would have been impossible.

It’s not about unplugging, it’s about understanding when to plug in and when not to.

Watch the film and decide for yourself.

What are your thoughts on the topics raised in this film? Let us know in the comments below.

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