“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.
“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?