Monday, 5 May 2014

"Look Up" video full text

What if he just got a call from his mum?
As my last post shows, I'm not exactly a fan of Gary Turk's anti-technology video "Look Up". But below is the full text, for anyone looking for it.

I don't know who I find more galling - Gary Turk, who wrote this one-dimensional preachy fluff, or the millions of sheep sharing it on social media (irony!) saying things like "OMG SO TRUE" and "Inspirational!" and "I'm guilty of this too!".

Guilty of what? Buying a phone sober and using it in full control of your life choices?

One of the most-quoted lines is "We are a generation of idiots; smart phones and dumb people". Oh stuff off with your fake nostalgia. Our generation is no more full of idiots than every other generation.

People have always been idiots, with or without phones. People are just dumb all by themselves.

Anyway, I've written out the full text 1) simply because a lot of people out on the internet are requesting it, and 2) because I think seeing it written out, without the schmaltzy music and cheesy visuals, helps expose it as the nostalgic, misguided twaddle that it is.

P.S. Gary Turk looks in mid-20s, yet still pulls out the line about "when I was young (cliché 1) we rode bikes (cliché 2) and got grazes (cliché 3) and built treehouses (cliché 4)".
Truly, if someone under 30 can wheel out such ancient clichés, then words mean nothing any more.

"Look Up" by Gary Turk

I have 422 friends, yet I am lonely.
I speak to all of them every day, yet none of them really know me.
The problem I have sits in the spaces between
Looking into their eyes, or at a name on a screen.

I took a step back and opened my eyes,
I looked around and realised,
That this media we call social is anything but
When we open our computers and it's our doors we shut

All this technology we have, it's just an illusion
Community companionship, a sense of inclusion
But when you step away from this device of delusion
You awaken to see a world of confusion.

A world where we're slaves to the technology we mastered
Where information gets sold by some rich greedy bastard
A world of self interest, self image and self promotion
Where we all share our best bits but, leave out the emotion.

We're at our most happy with an experience we share,
But is it the same if no-one is there?
Be there for your friends and they'll be there too,
But no-one will be if a group message will do.

We edit and exaggerate, crave adulation
We pretend not to notice the social isolation
We put our words into order and tint our lives a-glistening
We don't even know if anyone is listening

Being alone isn't a problem let me just emphasize
If you read a book, paint a picture, or do some exercise
You're being productive and present, not reserved and recluse
You're being awake and attentive and putting your time to good use

So when you're in public, and you start to feel alone
Put your hands behind your head, step away from the phone
You don't need to stare at the menu, or at your contact list
Just talk to one another, learn to co-exist.

I can't stand to hear the silence of a busy commuter train
When no one want's to talk for the fear of looking insane.
We're becoming unsocial, it no longer satisfies
To engage with one another, and look into someone's eyes.

We're surrounded by children, who since they were born,
Have watched us living like robots, who now think it's the norm.
It's not very likely you'll make world's greatest dad,
If you can't entertain a child without using an iPad

When I was a child, I'd never be home
Be out with my friends, on our bikes we'd roam
I'd wear holes on my trainers, and graze up my knees
We'd build our own clubhouse, high up in the trees

Now the park's so quiet, it gives me a chill
See no children outside and the swings hanging still.
There's no skipping, no hopscotch, no church and no steeple
We're a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people.

So look up from your phone, shut down the display
Take in your surroundings, make the most of today
Just one real connection is all it can take
To show you the difference that being there can make.

Be there in the moment, that she gives you the look
That you remember forever as when love overtook
The time she first held your hand, or first kissed your lips
The time you first disagreed but you still love her to bits

The time you don't have to tell hundreds of what you've just done
Because you want to share this moment with just this one
The time you sell your computer, so you can buy a ring
For the girl of your dreams, who is now the real thing.

The time you want to start a family, and the moment when
You first hold your little girl, and get to fall in love again.
The time she keeps you up at night, and all you want is rest
And the time you wipe away the tears as your baby flees the nest.

The time your baby girl returns, with a boy for you to hold
And the time he calls you granddad and makes you feel real old.

The time you've taken all you've made, just by giving life attention.
And how you're glad you didn't waste it, by looking down at some invention.

The time you hold your wife's hand, sit down beside her bed,
You tell her that you love her and lay a kiss upon her head.
She then whispers to you quietly as her heart gives a final beat
That she's lucky she got stopped by that lost boy in the street.

But none of these times ever happened, you never had any of this.
When you're too busy looking down, you don't see the chances you miss.

So look up from your phone, shut down those displays
We have a final act existence, a set number of days
Don't waste your life getting caught in the net,
As when the end comes nothing's worse than regret.

I'm guilty too of being part of this machine,
This digital world, we are heard but not seen.
Where we type as we talk, and we read as we chat
Where we spend hours together without making eye contact

So don't give into a life where you follow the hype
Give people your love, don't give them your 'like'
Disconnect from the need to be heard and defined
Go out into the world, leave distractions behind.

Look up from your phone. Shut down that display. Stop watching this video. Live life the real way.



  1. Cheers Jez - have been looking for the poem in full text to thoughtfully destroy it on my blog later. 5 friends have shared this on Facebook in the last 3 hours. Really enjoyed your earlier post on it too!

    1. Thanks Helen! Every time I read it, I just want to rip it apart line by line - I'm glad someone else has the energy to do so :) Could you send me the link when it's up?

    2. Finally got around to posting -

      Thanks again for providing the poem in full.

  2. OMG SO TRUE! I'm guilty of this too!!!!!!!!

    1. More like guilty of having a beautiful face.

  3. "I can't stand to hear the silence of a busy commuter train" - as if before mobile phones, trains were just one big party...

    1. This. All day long.

    2. @Jez ,
      I love you man , you have no idea , what watching this video did to me , is there any way i can contact you by email ?
      I really wanna tell you my whole story :)
      and tell you what changes you made , thanks , truly !

    3. what does gary turk mean when he says " give people your love , dont give them your like ?? please answer

    4. He meant that don't just like their posts and photos on social media but share your love with them in real life

  4. I love his "story." Call him out for his "cliché’s", his sweater, or whatever else you're trying to find a problem with, but what he says is more than relevant for the world today. It's not about the fact that people have smart phones, I pads, computers or anything else. It's the fact that people can't function without them. There's no need to have an actual relationship with people anymore, because we can hide behind such things. Shaking someone’s hand, making eye contact, or being able to present yourself properly in real life situations is a thing of the past. How many people can’t even use real words anymore? I.e. Lol, rofl, omg. r, u, tho, thru, ttyl, and the list is endless. Let me also point out that as I wrote this, not one of these words were recognized at being correctly spelled or proper…because they’re NOT! I believe technology to be a positive thing, however, the way we use it, is not. One last thing, though I could go on forever about your ignorance, is the fact that I can guarantee you yourself, are a hypocrite. You’ve never seen someone’s incessant or meaningless posts on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and so on but didn’t think they needed to go out and get a life? That they spent too much time on the computer or nobody cares how many times a day they go to the bathroom? I’m clearly going to assume you have. That’s why this story hits home for people. But you go right ahead and keep complaining about people wanting sincere lives. Mock him, my comments above, or whomever else, because if you weren’t out to get a reaction from people or make yourself feel better about your actions, you never would have tried so hard in the first place. Congratulations, you Douche.

    1. "Tried so hard"? That's a good one, since I didn't spend nearly as much time on these blog posts as Gary Turk does in his one-sided over-simplification of the world.
      Seeing as I didn't attack his sweater, you probably haven't actually read the other post, so whatever.

    2. *as Gary Turk did on*
      Typos, bugs me.

    3. I sense a quite jealousy. I think you are jealousy just because he made a video which is only 5 minutes and which just criticizes the technology that he has used to post this video on YouTube.

    4. And of course, he has 32 millions of views.

    5. As with the main post, it's hard to tell if this is the same "anonymous" as the other "anonymous". Probably not, these comments seem less rude and more in keeping with the most recent one, further down. In which case, I'd encourage you (like everyone) to read my main post in full, because it covers a lot of issues and looks at other anti-technology viral messages as well, and what connects them. Jealousy? No, certainly not. I've got my own popular Youtube video, just the one, but that's okay for me. Frustration, yes, cynicism, yes - and both of those count equally for the quantity of views surrounding "Look Up". The fact it's been watched 32 millions times is relevant, because it fascinates me and frustrates me that so many people buy into such a simplistic, one-dimensional, anti-technology message. (The clear fact is that it "Look Up" has ticked something regarding people's feelings, not their logical thoughts, and that's why it's gone viral. I am writing a follow-up blog post on this, because it's very sociological.) So yes, a variety of emotions went in to my main article criticising "Look Up" and the sheep-like reaction is created. But jealousy, no, no thank you.
      P.S. You correctly identify one of the flaws with "Look Up", that it criticises both the medium it is created on (video) and the platform it is viewed on (social media) without any self-awareness, irony or conscious thought whatsoever.

    6. Its called irony Dickhead !

  5. Didn't quite understand why found someone who's in mid 20s writing a poem to share his opinions about internet and social media which makes us isolated individuals so strange and absurd. Despite he is someone not that old, it is actually understandable for him to have a craving for his chilhood.

    1. It's the young/bike/grazes/treehouses combined cliché which is so ludicrous. "When I was young, we used to ride around on bikes" is a typical cliché, and is known as one, used by old people and grandparents to describe how things were simpler and "better" when they were a child in the Long Long Ago. It's often combined with the clichés of getting grazes from running/biking around, and climbing up in treehouses. So Turk's inclusion of this cliché combination is ridiculous partly because he packs so many into a short space, not even counting all the rest of the poem. But also because he is not that old, and has (probably) known technology all his life - his childhood is not that distant from today, compared to people who usually used these phrases referring to the 60s, 50s and previously. At a guess, he was a child in the late 80s and early 90s, when the Game Boy, NES, Atari, Spectrum, Commodore64, Amiga and many other forms of electronic entertainment were very common! The notion he lived in some kind of pre-technology innocent paradise is dubious to say the least.

    2. This poem would actually be more understandable for people who aren't from the USA or Europe. Because, people who are not from that developed countries could possibly be closer than developed countries. I remember my childhood when i didn't have that much technology in my life and I was in fact usually bored. So, as long as you don't use the hell out of technology, I personally find it entertaining and more informative.

    3. Sorry for grammar mistakes btw, I'm not a native English so I may have mistakes.

    4. Possibly, I think you might be right. The "Look Up" video is definitely from a Western country (UK), and I think it is almost definitely intended for Western countries. So my comments, and my thinking why "Look Up" does not make sense, are for these countries like UK, USA, Europe, Canada, NZ, Aus, etc.
      For countries in Africa, South America, Asia, the Far East, the Middle East - the cultures are very different, but I assume there is less consumer technology, and/or maybe that the development of consumer technology has been faster than in Western countries. So maybe there are social changes happening faster in these countries, in the last 10-20 years, which Western countries have been seeing more slowly for 30-40 years, or longer. Maybe? I think that is a credible idea.
      Thank you for commenting, and especially because it's not in your native language.

    5. he probably uses technology more than many people.

    6. Hey, I'm Indian in other words "Asian" and just to let you guys know the use of technology is sadly worse than you westerners would imagine. And Look Up rings absolutely true for the Urban Youth in India. And before you go about literally listing out Gary's faults in making out the video Jez, I'd suggest you read the rate at which our generation is being heavily addicted to the internet and having identity crisis due to all the social media platforms. His video, gives us tech obsessed people a reality check. We obviously won't condemn technology all together. Just the amount of time we spend on it.

  6. It's weird that he enrages you so. And that you need what he says to be TOTALLY bogus, which is really rather over the edge on your part. There is SOMETHING in what he's saying, as anybody who's got their eyes open readily sees. Doesn't mean you have to buy 100% into his pitch, but the way you go emotionally spastic about it.. well, certainly says a lot more about you than it does about him.

  7. If you think about it, the way the entire world emotionally spazzed about it says more about the world than it does about me.
    In next week's edition: how videos go viral because of unconscious feelings and fears, not rational thoughts and logic.

  8. You're an idiot

  9. Hello Jez:

    Thank you for shareing your point of view of this viral poem, and succes.

    In my personalpoint of view , I would like to say that, everyone haved said about one of the shapes of one reality; yes it is very different but not it is god or bad, because everyone in the world are living in a different moment of this experience called "life", but at the same time I can be agree with the Gary´s poem , but at same time I´m very agree with you , Jez ; I was born in the 62 , its obviously , my life have been modificated for the technology very fast, but I haved been changed with this process; i began to use my PC with my 3 children , use internet, and I can recognize that many friends like me, like same age , they didnt want change , and to learn about the use of the technology like use all the different kind of gadgets; and I always haved to dissapoint about their perception like Gary T, because they use to defend "their" reality old times for them are the best; and now is terrible and they used to said everything is worst. I think , they are speaking or expressing their reality , and it is depends the perception of their conciencioussness , like everything in this reality; and nothing in this life is totally good , or totally bad ; Like everything there are many reallities at the same time like the number of human beans are in this planet. Everything IS ; Living in this planet is an experience , because We need understand , at least to know : WHO AM I,

    This oportunity of "physic experience" is a very very big clasroom, with a lot of lessons, and there are classmates with differents perspectives, environments, and differnts conciousness' nivel or grades in this perfect SCHOOL. Everyone are growing or not growing in this great and perfect universe; keep trying sometimes in sume , and sometimes resting, but I think , I need to learn, and try to live in control of everything that happens inside of me, and outside of me; "only" To Know , to learn , that everything is for me , pieces or clues , only to anwer the must important question , , to understand that : I AM
    To be or not to be , that is the question:
    Adriana Miranda ( Mexico )
    Excuse me , I tried to express me the best , but my native lenguage is spanish.
    I hope you could understand me; only I know, I haved talked from my heart .

    Regards and the best always: LOVE, TRUTH AND FREEDOM

    Adriana Miranda Reina ( México )

    1. Hi Adriana, thanks for writing. I personally do not believe in spiritual or psychic things, but I agree with your positive views. We are all people, learning and growing and trying to live together :) gracias!

  10. you all saying shit need to understand he has is freewill to express is mind out to the world you may not see the point of view about technology the way he does when we are young or not I dnt fucking care someone has don something beautiful love it with him not find mistake in what he had don cos he sees you not. "Look Up"

  11. Well, wasting time reading this steaming pile of a blog is a perfect example of wasted life.

    1. You clearly didn't understand anything in it, did you?

    2. I don't think you quite understood the original piece.

  12. Dear Jez,
    I love you man , you have no idea , what watching this video did to me , is there any way i can contact you by email ?
    I really wanna tell you my whole story :)
    and tell you what changes you made , thanks , truly !

    1. Well, if you can prove you're not a robot, maybe

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. We were made for relationships with humans. Funny..or maybe sad. ...I was waitng for a table at the Cheesecake Factory once with friends and family and needed to accommdate 10 people. We had to wait at least an extra 20 minutes for a party that wouldn't leave. It was a family of 5 celebrating a birthday. None of the 5 were talking to one another. They were all on "devices" ... some birtgday huh!

  14. Wow, just found this now. I might be a little behind the craze, but "Jez", you sound like a douche. All you do is try to pick apart every line without looking at the entire message. It's disgusting. And as for your dissection of the piece, it's totally off kilter and out of line. For example, you like to pick on the line about kids riding bikes. So what, when he was a kid there were no bikes, is that what your saying? Its not possible for him to have ridden his bike with friends. It's not even meant to be literal. It is supposed to be a cliche-- so it can resonate with more people.

    1. "You didn't understand it" said someone who gobbled it down unthinkingly without question

  15. I enjoyed the comment section between Anonymous and Jez. Both of you are right.

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