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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oregon chapter.

We live in an age that allows us to wear a mask, hide behind a screen, and never actually confront anyone, not even ourselves. Social media has created a non-social world in which people are afraid to talk to strangers because they may look weird. Before smart phones existed, people existed and talking to strangers on a bus or walking the street correlated to the stories of how people first met, became friends, fell in love or just had a good conversation. In his short film, “Look Up,” Gary Turk invites the technology age to think about what we miss by looking down at our phones. They’ve become an addiction for some and a safety blanket for others, but this short film shows what greatness could be found if the phone is put away.

The ability to carry a computer in your pocket is a great advantage and a miraculous invention, but it’s not the creation of technology that’s hindering social balances, it’s the use. On social media, people have the ability to promote their best self and to be someone they really only are ten percent of the time. The persona that it allows makes people feel as though they are not succeeding in comparison, and when you’re put in contrast to someone who has thousands of followers and flawless photos, it almost seems like they’ve figured out the trick to life when in reality all they’ve discovered is how to promote their best self. Followers, friends, re-tweets, likes; these are nothing compared to laughter, vulnerability, new adventures with great friends and the chance to new ones. There’s an opportunity to walk outside, explore the world around you, enjoy who you’re with and who you are because without a phone in your face you’ll be able to experience things completely. Watch this beautifully executed short film and be inspired because I promise you will, and then, as Turk says, “Go out into the world and leave distractions behind”.

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