Social networks aren’t destroying our lives
No matter what a spoken word video tells us
At this point, over 12 million of us have watched “Look Up”, the new viral video sensation. Gary Turk’s spoken message of social networking gone awry has swooped down on us like a ninja-KONY 2012, consuming our Facebook feeds with the ever important message that it’s impossible to both use a mobile phone AND fall in love.
How will you ever meet the girl of your dreams if you’re looking at your phone for a bit? How will you get to have a life of happiness if you’re reading through Twitter? Fairly easily, actually. Thankfully, we’re not so socially inept that using technology has robbed us of any kind of #reallife skills.
The idea that we are unable to interact in a social environment is bizarre. I’ve never encountered a single person that has delved too far into social networking that they’ve actually become as awkward as this video suggests. Maybe I’ve been blinded by all that sweet web-content that kids these days love so much.
Of course there’s more to the video that my cynical self may care to admit. People spend too much time on their phones when they are together, sure. But to go as far as calling them “unsocial networks” (deep, right?) is ridiculous. With friends in cities all over the world, Facebook and Twitter are the only way I can keep in touch with most of them. How about events? There has never been an easier way to organise a meet-up or party than with Facebook? We don’t take a second to realise just how useful these tools have become.
Maybe I’m just biased. I’m currently in a long-distance relationship and therefore relying on FaceTime and iMessage to speak to my girlfriend for eight months of the year. It’s not a common situation, but I see social networking as a connector rather than a destroyer of relationships.
Whether people like it or not, technology is deeply rooted in our lives, and always will be. We’re the first generation to have full access to a whole host of social networking innovation. Seeing how that affects relationships and friendships in 20 years time is exciting – not something to be afraid of.
We are told that we’re not truly living if we’re staring at a screen, but who decides what living is? At the risk of sounding as wanky as the very video that inspired this rant, I pose this question – why can’t we live fulfilling lives whilst fully embracing every piece of technology offered to us? I suspect the answer is that we absolutely can, but I’ll have to wait for the next viral video to confirm it.