Tuesday 8 July 2014

Life Beyond A Screen

Don't get me wrong, I'm a slave to social media as much as the next person. I'd say as much as the next 'young person', but my mum is as much hooked onto Facebook as I am - it's stretched to all generations; young and old. Even my grandparents now have smartphones so they can see my Instagram updates while I'm in America! ..and don't get me started on my 10 year old cousins and their square eyes!

Sparked by fairly recent Banksy work of 'Mobile Lovers', and a similar style piece (not confirmed to be Banksy) of a young boy expressing distress over not receiving social media attention and validation through notifications and superficial 'likes', I've been having deep thoughts about life and the Internet. 'Mobile Lovers' really got me and my own 'lover' discussing the topic of using our phones when we're in each other's company and how inappropriately unnecessary it is to be engaged with an iPhone screen and Twitter feed of pointless updates from people I barely even know. Okay, so somebody I had one class with in sixth form is ordering a chinese for their tea, and somebody who lives down the road is going on holiday on 246 days. Somebody I've never even met or spoke to is hungover. Great. Fab. I'm so glad I spent 15 seconds of my life reading that update on my little phone screen. I'd much rather be watching my boyfriend speak to me and tell me about his day so I can read the emotions from his face, rather than his emojis on a screen.

In my Break From Blogging post I shared a couple of the things that I've been up to and how refreshing it's been to take a step back from being engrossed in online updates and social feeds and instead get out and about experiencing different things each day. I've actually been meeting a lot more new people recently and I always find that when you meet somebody new and gain an insight into their life and how they live, it can really open your eyes to new perspectives on life. There's always so much to learn and the best way to learn it is from meeting new people, but meeting them online and chatting via 140 characters isn't always the best way for this to happen. (See the video at the bottom of this post!)

I don't hate technology and I do appreciate instant communication with anybody in the world, but the viral video titled 'Look Up', which is embedded in this post, made me think about trying to detach from the digital world, and fully embrace the life beyond a screen.

Seeing pubs with funny messages outside like 'no wifi in here, talk to each other instead' makes me giggle, but the reality of being in genuine situations surrounded by friends/colleagues with each and every one of them looking down at their phones, scrolling through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram instead of engaging with the real life human that is sitting right next to them, is something that has been rubbing me the wrong way for the past few months. 

“look up from your phone, shut down the display, take in your surroundings and make the most of today”.

If you haven't yet seen this video, or at least seen it recently, then please please watch it. It's 5 minutes long and I can guarantee it will get you thinking about how much you use social media and how much more you should enjoy the world around you. 

Use technology, embrace technology, but don't let it consume you.


  1. Wow, talk about stop and made me think. That video has inspired me.

    Beth x

  2. I agree SO much with this post! Ever since I saw that video I've been making a conscious effort to use my phone less when I'm in a social situation and I now barely ever reach it - I even went to work without it (shock horror!) Now I don't use mine so much I think I'm noticing more and more how much other people are using theirs and I've sat in a crowded staff room at lunch time where not one person is speaking because they are all looking at their phones. It just doesn't seem right. I really think if we're not careful we're going to raise a generation with absolutely no social skills, just because nobody really uses them anymore. "We're a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people."


  3. Really loved this post. I agree so much. I'm definitely trying to use my phone less when I'm with my boyfriend or friends - I wouldn't say I check it that much when I'm with other people but I still think it would be much healthier to just switch it off sometimes. I love being on holiday when there's hardly any wifi, although it can be annoying when you genuinely need to contact people, it makes me feel so much more relaxed!
    Sally x

  4. Great Post, I think technology does take over all of us as it's a barrier to hide behind, but it's also soooo addictive we can't help it xxxx


  5. This is such a great post! Completely agree with everything you've said: I love technology and social media but images such as Banksy's really make me think about when is appropriate to have my phone out and when it's really time to just put it away.

    Laura x

  6. I love that video! I have watched it before and it holds such a strong message!


  7. Well that hit home. I haven't watched that video before and I have to say I've never thought about how much we all use our phones! I'll be keeping my in my bag more often! Great post xx


  8. I completely agree. This is something I've become really aware of recently - and when you're not on your phone, you really notice how addicted other people are to theirs! I've been fighting the urge to use my phone for things other than social media, too - e.g. I always instinctively reach for my Google maps if I'm somewhere new, when really I should be looking for signs/road names/asking passers by. Also, if you have to do the journey again, you'll actually remember it!

    Rachel || A Nesting Nomad

  9. Such a great post Hannah! Could not agree more, i love instagram etc as much as the next person but taking a break on holiday was also well needed. Its so sad to think this is our society now im just glad when i was growing up we never had stuff like this as people are coming so dependent that they dont know how to communicate in real life. There is SO much beyond social media amen hannah! P.s great to see you back blogging again :) xx

  10. Great post.


  11. This is so strange coz my mate was actually telling me about the artistic picture of the couple yesterday over lunch and I mentioned how I knew this friend who's gf started texting straight after sex and how weird that was... Also, I like your quote and vid, I actually saw a contemporary dance last night called Stop.Listen. at The Place in Euston/London so it was indeed fantastic to just do exactly that and take in the emotions, use your senses and not focus on emoticons! Totally sympathise with this post and agree with your thoughts on it.


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