My friend John Ballenger put me on to this YouTube video about us and our smartphones that makes me think it may be time for a phone fast.
The two-minute video, which has been viewed more than 15 million times, begins with a couple in bed. The woman, played by the comedian and actress Charlene deGuzman, stares silently while her boyfriend pays no mind and checks his smartphone.
The subsequent scenes follow Ms. deGuzman through a day that is downright dystopian: people ignore her as they stare at their phones during lunch, at a concert, while bowling and at a birthday party. (Even the birthday boy is recording the party on his phone.) The clip ends with Ms. deGuzman back in bed with her boyfriend at the end of the day; he is still using his phone.
Ms. deGuzman’s video makes for some discomfiting viewing. It’s a direct hit on our smartphone-obsessed culture, needling us about our addiction to that little screen and suggesting that maybe life is just better led when it is lived rather than viewed (New York Times, September 1, 2013).
So, that’s what I’m planning to do tomorrow. It’s my day off, and I’m going to switch off the little screen, get out there, and live some life. I’m going on a phone fast.
I may tell you how it went afterward, but there won’t be a YouTube video.