Sure I look up, but I don’t get out much.

I’m going to break my rule of not sharing to a YouTube video this once because I feel it’s important to pass this one along. Chances are you’ve probably already seen this as it’s making the rounds on the Internet but in case you haven’t, here it is:

It might be a bit sappy at times but it gets the point across strongly. It’s one that I whole-heartedly agree with up to a point. Before I go into that I think it’s amusing how much this video is getting linked to and shared. On top of that, each sharing gets comments from people on their phones agreeing with the message. Time will tell how many people actually put down their electronic devices because of the poem.

It’s disgusting when I walk around town or a store and every other person is staring at their phone. It’s disheartening when I go into a coffee shop and see somebody with their laptop or tablet without once looking up at what’s going on around them. People aren’t just shutting themselves out of reality. They’re looking stupid in the process. Yet somehow it’s become so commonplace that it’s excepted when people whip their phones out in social situations.

To say I’m guilty of using electronic devices and the Internet is too obvious to point out considering I have this blog. I should say that I don’t consider the blog as social media as much as Facebook or Twitter. I use it as my writing journal. Instead of writing in a notebook by hand I choose to type and then share my writing with the world. I use Facebook and Twitter to promote the blog. Hell, even the reason I have so many people still in my friends list on Facebook is in order to promote it. I honestly don’t even have that many friends on the list compare to other people. If it wasn’t for the blog I probably would have cut people out a while ago.

I don’t stare at my phone in public because I don’t have a smart phone. I have an older style of flip phone that I don’t even take with me every time when I go out. I still have a laptop and an e-reader. I use the e-reader the same way that I use books when I’m at a coffee shop or a restaurant. I read. Occasionally, I look up. I dont’ take the laptop out of my apartment any more now that I have the Internet at home again. Still, I use social media when I’m on it. I sometimes stare at the screen when I can’t think of anything better to do. It doesn’t happen often, usually only if I’m tired. The fact remains that I use my connection to the outside world via the Internet in a way that makes me recluse.

Or does it? Does the Internet cause my reclusiveness or does it serve my already reclusive nature? I’m leaning towards the latter. I prefer communication online sometimes because I’m better at it than in real life. I can feel the other person get annoyed with my verbosity sometimes but they usually accept it. I like spending time outdoors but still in solitary activities such as hiking or kayaking. I will hang out with friends on a Saturday night but more often than not I find myself heading home early and watching a movie or reading a book.

Yes, some people do need to interact with each other more in person. They need to remember that it’s more real than the superficial conversations they have online are. But some of us use it in a more responsible manner and actually can communicate meaningfully. “Look Up” is a powerful poem but it only represents one side of the issue.

By the way, I do know that even though at the beginning of this post I mentioned a rule about not linking to YouTube videos and at the end of a lot of my blog posts are YouTube videos. I use the free version of this blog, which means it’s going to have ads. I thought that they would be banners or something but I’m finding YouTube videos all over WordPress. Sorry about that, it’s nothing to do with me other than I’m too cheap to spend so much money a year to have them removed.

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