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Look Up Video: Powerful Message or Hypocrisy?










 There's been a lot of buzz lately about the YouTube video "Look Up" by Gary Turk. It basically scorns today's "internet generation" for being too technologically involved and states that we are missing out on so much the world has to offer. He explains this through a spoken word poem, where the video cuts in between shots of himself and different scenes. Across the country college students and other twenty somes are sharing this on the same devices they are told to look up from. The question still remains: Is technology really this detrimental to our society?

 

"I have 422 friends...Yet I am lonely"


This is his opening statement to the video, an obvious jab at Facebook. According to statisticbrain.com, Facebook has eclipsed 1.3 billion users, 628 million of them using the website daily. This statistic alone is quite frightening, knowing that just under half of the users are frequenting the site every single day. The argument Turk makes is that we become so infatuated with our social status that we continue to crave more and more "social" interaction at all times.

This can be especially dangerous during times of development where personal interaction is key. He uses the line, "When we open our computers and it’s our doors we shut,” take for example, a college student in their dorm room never leaving because they have all of their friends at the tips of their fingers. This hinders their ability to get out and experience what this special time has to offer. 

Inspirational Video or Publicity Stunt?


Although the video has garnered tremendous success in the virtual world, it has certainly received some backlash. Many viewers are suggesting that it over exaggerates the cost of technology and he used the message as a means to gain his "15 minutes of fame". These same critics are exposing the irony of the use of a video and video-sharing superpower YouTube to get out his message. Turk even addresses these concerns when he says, "I’m guilty too of being part of this machine, this digital world where we are heard but not seen."

Commenters argue that social media is used as a tool to generate more connections, rather than replacing them all together. Social media breaks down barriers and allows students to connect with people of same interests when their locations might provide an issue. If you were limited to simply those around you whom you had face-to-face contact with, your network would lack a sense of diversity.

Although it has been duly noted that new technology can have a negative affect on society, is it much of a cause for concern? Why don't you watch the video below and see what you think.



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