social media

Viral Video: It’s time to look at the real world

This week was tough.

This week was tough. I had no doubt that I wanted to use this video, but also, I’m fully aware that I both love and hate it, all at once.

Firstly, I think it’s important that this video has had nearly 14 million views. On the one hand because it’s true, we are too dependent on our technology. We can’t sit round a dinner table without having our phones on the table in front of us, we can’t have a conversation without simultaneously scrolling through various social media and we can’t go anywhere fun without first wanting to post it on Instagram so that everyone can see.
I agree that it is an emotional hindrance to our generation to be as controlled by our technology as we are. I agree that it’s sad that we feel lost without it.
However, on the other hand, I think it’s important that this video has as many views as it does because, in truth, upon what other platform could this message have made such an impact?
There’s a reason this idea wasn’t simply made into posters and put on walls across the UK, there’s a reason that this message wasn’t put on food packaging and there’s a reason that this video has been seen by nearly 14 million people.
The reason is that whist technology, like all things, has its failings, it also provides a means for billions of people to have access to things that in previous years they would have gone their whole lives without ever experiencing.
Communication technology and social media is one of the most effective forms of spreading a message, and it is crucial in allowing a society to keep itself informed. Thus the sheer success and viral nature of the video is entirely contingent on the efficacy of communication technology.
Negative vs. positive
I agree, technology has its negatives; it has problems like any other entity in this life, but it’s also the thing that brought us direct contact with emergency services, it brought us an industry with a multitude of jobs, and it brought us the kind of communication technology that allows us to keep in contact with friends and family all over the world. 
This video seems to paint a picture of technology as categorically negative, when actually the crux of the issue really is who is in control; is social media controlling you, or you it? In the case of the latter, then this is the way in which it was intended.
After all, communication technology isn’t there to harm you, it’s there for you to use at your leisure. Thus my interpretation of this video is that it’s too extreme. I feel that in this instance, the absence of a thing is almost as bad as the excess of a thing, that rather what we should take away from this is a lesson in moderation.
The aim?
Yet, perhaps this is the aim. Perhaps the video aims not at a message of absolute technological abstinence, but perhaps is exercising a kind of positive discrimination, in order to get across the message of moderation. 
Therefore, in light of taking something positive from this video, in learning from what I have just seen, I am going to turn off my phone for the remainder of this evening; because whilst this video does seem to be somewhat problematic, there is something in it that probably does ring true for us all.
Do you agree with Daniella’s view on this video? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: Ivva / Flickr