Monday, 5 May 2014

Look Up by Gary Turk

Last year I felt challenged about whether I was Connected or Disconnected especially after reading How to Miss a Childhood.

A few weeks ago I watched Captivated and was made aware of the impact of smart phone technology on my world at home.  As a result I have been trying to put my phone more on silent and be more present when I'm home alone ... This has been far harder than I thought it would be.  I like being connected ...  

This week my mom shared Look Up with me on Facebook.  It's a poem talking about the issues surrounding smart phone use.  Thought provoking.

Here are the words of Look Up for those of you who can't access the YouTube clip.

Look Up

I have 422 friends
Yet I am lonely
I speak to all of them everyday
Yet none of them really know me

The problem I have sits in the spaces between
looking into their eyes or at a name into a screen
I took a step back and opened my eyes
I looked around and realised

There's media we call social is anything but
When we open up our computers and it's our doors we shut
All this technology we have it's just an illusion
Community companionship a sense of inclusion
yet when you step away from this device of delusion

You awaken to see a world of confusion
A world where we're slaves to technology we mastered
Where information gets sold by some rich greedy b******
A world of self interest  self image self promotion
Where we all share our best bits but leave out the emotion

We're at our most happy when each experience we share
But is it the same if no one is there ?

Be there for your friends and they'll be there too
But no one will be if a group message will do
We edit and exaggerate crave adulation 
We pretend not to notice the social isolation

We put our words into order
Until our lives are glistening
We don't even know if someone is listening

Being alone isn't the problem
Let me just emphasize
We read a book, paint a picture or do some exercise
You're being productive and present
Not reserved and recluse
You'll be awake and attentive and putting your time to good use

So when you're in public and you start to feel alone
Put your hands behind your head step away from the phone
You don't need to stare at your your menu or your contact list
Just talk to one another learn to co exist

I can't stand to hear the silence of a busy commuter train
where no one wants to talk for the fear of looking insane
We're becoming unsocial
it no longer satisfies
to engage with one another and look into someones eyes

We're surrounded by children who since they were born
Have watched us living like robots and think it's the norm.
It's not very likely that you'll make the world's greatest Dad i
f you can't entertain a child without using an iPad.

When I was a child I'd never be home
I'd be out with my friends
on our bikes we would roam
I'd wear holes in my trainers and graze up my knees
We'd build our own club house high up in the trees

Now the park is so quiet that it gives me a chill
See no children outside
And the swings hanging still
There's no skipping, no hop scotch
No church and no steeple

We're a generation of idiots smart phones and dumb people

So look up from your phone
Shut down the display
Take in your surroundings
make the most of today
Just one real connection is all it can take
to show you the difference that being there can make

Be there in the moment
that she gives you the look
that you remember forever
that's when love overtook

the time she first held your hand or first kissed your lips
the time you first disagreed but still loved her to bits
the time you don't have to tell hundreds
of what you've just done
because you want to share this moment with just this one

The time you sell your computer
so you can buy a ring
for the girl of your dreams who is now the real thing

The time you want to start a family
and the moment when
you first hold your little girl
and get to fall in love again

The time she keeps you up at night
and all you want is rest
The time you wipe away the tears
as your baby flees the nest
The time your baby girl returns
with her boy for you to hold
The time he calls you grandad
and makes you feel real old
The time you take in all you've made
just by giving life attention

And how you're glad
you didn't waste it
by looking down in some invention

The time you hold your wife's hand
sit down beside her bed
You tell her that you love her
lay a kiss upon her head.
She then whispers to you quietly
as her heart gives a final beat
That's she's lucky that she got stopped
by that lost boy in the street

But none of these times ever happened
You never had any of this
when you're to busy looking down
You don't see the chances you miss

So look up from your phone
Shut down those displays
We have a finite existence
A set number of days

Don't waste your life getting caught in the net
As when the end comes
Nothings worse than regret 
I'm guilty too of being part of this machine.

This digital world
We are heard but not seen
Where we type as we talk
And we read as we chat
Where we spend hours together
without making eye contact

So don't give into a life where you follow the hype
Give people your love don't give them you like
Disconnect from the need to be heard and defined 
Go out into the world
Leave distractions behind.

Look up from your phone
Shut down that display
Stop watching this video
Live life the real way 


Be encouraged this week friends to enjoy each moment and to connect with your family and each other in meaningful ways.



  1. Its a very strong message, and so true. Scary actually!

  2. I agree. This should be a wake up.


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