I watched a thought-provoking viral video today called “Look Up” (see the video below). It’s a short film produced by British writer and director Gary Turk.
He makes the excellent point that sometimes we’re missing on basic human activities because we’re constantly checking our social media sites on smartphones and tablet computers. Some of us have come to base our worth on social media; we get satisfaction from likes, followers and comments but experience disappointment if no one bothers to say anything about what we’ve posted online. It seems like it’s become a measure of how good we are when one posting gets a lot of feedback and then the next one seems virtually ignored.
As somebody who enjoys using social media both professionally and on an amateur basis, this video resonated with me. I remember going to dinner with two friends once, one of whom kept scrolling through his smartphone. It was hard to hold a meaningful conversation with him, which was mildly bothersome since my parent and I had traveled a long way to meet them and we weren’t sure when we’d get together again. I was tempted to tell him, “Look up!”
But at the same time, I’m in a profession that requires the constant and skilled use of social media. I carefully craft my social media messages according to the platform and it’s designed to evoke a certain response from readers. I enjoy the art of crafting the message and seeing what others make of it.
It’s easy to get lost in social media. I’ll watch YouTube videos or read/comment on other blogs and before I know it, two or three hours whisk by.
I’m always curious to know how others received something I posted in social media (such as Facebook or Twitter). Sooner or later, that curiosity pulls me back to the computer because I have that temptation to check, even if I’ve been away from the computer for a few days. Am I an addict? Maybe a mild one.
Social media amazes us, entertains us and educates us. But do we go too far with our attention to it?
Moderation is key, perhaps. Your thoughts, blog readers?