Viral video against social media sparks debate


Amber Carnahan, Managing Editor

By Managing Editor: Amber Lee Carnahan

“Look Up” is a short, spoken word film which was written, performed, and directed by Gary Turk.  The film has recently been shared throughout social media. The YouTube video was intended to spread awareness of our dependence on technology and social media, showing how we have become less  social and have missed out on life by “looking down”.

Released on April 25, “Look Up” already has over 30 million views. The video has inspired many to limit their dependence on social media and to “shut down that display”. However, the video has sparked debate over the use of social media and the internet.

“I am definitely in favor of more regulation and limitations,” says Riley Halek, a senior at Howell High School. “I think it has negatively impacted society. Adults are colder, the relationships they form are shallow, and a lot of them live life by an electronic calendar. Studies have already proven we need so many face-to-face interactions before we can really know a person and consider them a friend, and social media is taking away from that.”

Digital Trends questions how realistic Turk’s description of real life is, claiming it’s a “rose-tinted view of a world without social media… He romantically describes an alternate universe where everything is awesome that we’re supposed to yearn for; but it sounds like a terrifying nightmare.”

Turk parades social media as turning people anti-social, but many wonder if the world would be any better if they “look up”.

“I think that smart phones make it easier to access social media, but I don’t believe that it should be used on smart phones because it makes us so dependent on our phone,” says HHS senior, Bethany Robinson. “Social media is making more people think they can get away with things they would never do or say in real life, and that really needs to change. Social media was meant to be a good thing, but people have changed it so drastically. It’s not helping our culture, it’s hurting more.”

Another YouTube Channel, “Spencer & Alex”, created a parody to Turk’s video, mirroring his claims but instead praising social media, painting the world as a nightmare. The short parody, called “Look Down”, isn’t meant to be taken too seriously, but it does raise strong claims as to why social media isn’t all bad.

“As a society, we need to stop having technology and social media more important than people and relationships,” says Robinson. “Smart phones are helpful in many ways, but they also can be negative, like less human interaction, phone dependency, and the inability to handle human interactions.”


Gary Turk’s “Look Up” :[youtube]