This is the most powerful thing going around the internet at the moment, but is it giving social media a raw deal?
You’ve probably already seen Look Up, a viral clip reaching out to the “online” generation. Much like The Sunscreen Song was for my generation, it’s a message set to music, said in prose with some pretty powerful images to match. Written, performed and directed by Gary Turk, it is an extremely important life lesson for our youth to put the phone down, look up and not miss the opportunities before us. Just because you are on social media, don’t think you are being social. Children are growing up in a world where they don’t play outside or communicate with their friends in person. Everything is done via text message or over the internet. But you know what? It’s not just the kids. I feel guilty myself.
But what parent isn’t guilty of doing this? Not looking up to see our child master climbing the rock wall at the park. Or being behind the phone taking pictures to boast to the world about the achievements of our clever child, rather than being a little human’s whole world and using our hands to applaud them when they reach the top.
But then again, I am torn. While this is certainly powerful and true, I also feel we are giving smart phones and technology a hard time. With my phone, those long, lonely nights breastfeeding were not so lonely, with my daughter cradled in one arm and my phone flicking through Facebook in the other. Catching up with friends who I missed because a new baby was now taking up my every waking moment. If another Mum was awake doing the same we could have a silent midnight messaging catch up and not wake up the whole house with our voices, our fingers doing the talking. Words of encouragement, nourishment and ‘just hang in there’ were offered while the rest of the world was sleeping.
Fast forward a few months and fun times in the park could be shared with my Mum, who lives two states away. A quick FaceTime call would mean we could literally play in the park together. Sharing that moment, my daughter reached the top of the rock wall for the first time, the applause for her achievement coming from two different states. Although they only physically see each other a few times a year, those daily moments of being face to face via phone ensure that when we pick Mum up from the airport Millie is rushing into the right Nana’s arms for a great big cuddle, and not some other older lady with the same style hair.
I cherish those moments just as much, and isn’t that being social with the ones I love the most, just through a different medium?
The world and how we communicate will always evolve. We just have to ensure we don’t lose our human touch along the way.