Viral Video Urges Us to Take a Hard Look at Our Phone Addictions

'I Forgot My Phone' explores a day in the life of a gadget-less girl

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“Nobody takes in life unless it comes through this,” Louis C.K. once lamented, as he typed away on an invisible smartphone. “Like I think if Jesus comes back and starts telling everyone everything, everyone’s just gonna be Twittering.”

C.K. of course addressed this issue with his signature snark, but a new YouTube video — which has already racked up more than 21 million views — takes a slightly more somber approach. The two-minute short film, “I Forgot My Phone,” outlines the day in the life of a gadget-less girl in a sea of smartphone users. She starts the day lying in bed, stone-faced, as her boyfriend scans his iPhone, and spends the rest of the day trying to engage with friends and acquaintances who’d rather keep their faces buried in their phones.

(MORE: Why Your Smartphone Will Be Your Next PC)

“I came up with the idea for the video when I started to realize how ridiculous we are all being, myself included, when I was at a concert and people around me were recording the show with their phones, not actually watching the concert,” comedian and actress Charlene deGuzman, who wrote and starred in the video, told the New York Times. “It makes me sad that there are moments in our lives where we’re not present because we’re looking at a phone.”

DeGuzman isn’t asking us to ditch our gadgets altogether. But she does prompt us to really consider our addiction to these gadgets, our urge to digitally document every moment and our desire to engage with devices instead of humans. Because the sad thing about the video is that — sure, it seems a tad hyperbolic — but watch it another time and ask yourself, is it really?

MORE: Addicted to the Internet? There’s a Hospital-based Treatment for That


Aside from my parents (in their mid-50s) and grandparents (in their early 80s), everyone I know suffers from 'phone addiction' to varying degrees. 

As a former educator, all of my students (ages 11-18) all had phones/tablets, and their social skills and manners were adversely impacted.

As a businessman, my colleagues (in their 20s) always have their phones out during the day - txting, gaming, tweeting, etc.. 

As a guy in his mid-20s, I notice that only having txting on my phone (no data plan) means that I stare at my screen for far less time than those mentioned above.  I am thankful, because I am able to observe more of life occurring around me.


Zombies ARE real, they're walking around staring at their phones.  Frankly, if you can't go out in public without having to stare at your phone every second, do everybody a favor--STAY HOME AND STARE AT IT.  Then the rest of us won't have to watch out for you wandering into traffic or off train platforms or having to ask you to stop texting during a movie.  


I have a pay as you go, regular, plain, non smartphone and half the time I leave it at home. Sure. You can't get me 24/7, and that is just the way I like it. Phones are a choke chain.