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May 07, 2014

The irony of the "Look Up" video

 Does anyone else find it ironic that a video telling you to stop using social and mobile sites got 28 million views on YOUTUBE? Go ahead, watch it on your phone, tweet it, share it on Facebook. Why not immerse yourself in the irony a bit further?

It reminds me of Paddy Chayevsky's movie Network, in which a man generates huge ratings by telling people to turn off their TVs.

The most shocking moment in this video is when the hero leaves his house and walks out without his phone. We've truly made the mobile mind shift, because this is unthinkable.

It's good advice, to leave your devices behind once in a while. I recommend it. But this video exists and is popular because every popular technology creates backlash, and that backlash has a romantic appeal. The chances of this making an impact on attitudes about mobile and social is close to zero, even if it's comforting to some to think it might.

If you think mobile and social technologies are about screens, you've missed the point. They're about generating and enriching interactions in the real world. That's the romantic appeal of "Look Up," and it's a lesson worth learning.

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