When reading the brief for a second Moving Image film, the idea of obsession stood out to me.
I am interested in the that topic on a social scale, more than a personal one, and I feel that there are many area of life where people need to wake up and realize that they are fueling obsessions rather than requirements. However when I stopped to think about it, of all the obsessions in the world today, the one that is most interesting and worrying to me is the obsession with mobile phones.
Over the last year or 2, friends of mine have started to upgrade to smartphones. Ignoring the fact that many of them are jobless, 20-somethings living with their parents spending hundreds on phones and payment plans then upgrading less than a year later, it has also become increasingly difficult to hold conversations with them.
This isn’t just checking texts or responding to calls – constant Googling, playing games, checking and responding to pointless facebook comments, twitter and reddit have sucked the attention span out of almost everyone I know, Some friends literally can’t get through a few sentences of conversation without breaking off checking their phone, at which point all real conversation is lost. They think they’re listening, but they’re not, and its becoming a serious problem
It was this clip of Louis CK on the Conan O’Brien show on CNN that initially brought the issue to my mind.
There are so many snippets of important information and thought-provoking topics hidden in his joke.
While it is hard to recognize what he is saying as serious because of the context of the comedy talk-show, I think that shown as type instead it could potentially get through to people and make them question how they are spending their time. They might even begin to realize that the problem really isn’t a phone or a friend or a message – the simple unconscious desire for small, feel-good bursts of dopamine that we gain from instant messaging drive our actions. If we begin to recognize this we can gain some perspective.
Of course, telling people this amounts to nothing more than a lecture, likely to turn people off. Thats why I would like to find a way of using Louis’ phrasing. When writing it out to see which sections to use or whether to take an exact transcript, I split it into small sentences, to get an idea of how they could be used as shots in a film
I am not sure yet whether I want to keep it stream-of-consciousness, or pick phrases and clean them up grammatically to make them more understandable
Transcript of the Video
I think these things are toxic, youknow, especially for kids.
It’s just this thing (tap tap tap) – and it’s bad
They don’t look at people when they talk to them
and they don’t build empathy
Kids are mean, and it’s because they’re trying it out.
They look at a kid and they go – you’re fat – and they see the kids face screw up and they go OOOOOh
– that doesn’t feel good to make a person do that.
But they gotta start with doing the mean thing.
But when they write ‘you’re fat‘, then they just go –
‘hmm that was fun.
I like that’
The thing is, you need to build the ability to just be yourself,
and not be doing something.
That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there –
Thats being a person… right?
But no-one can… you gotta check
because underneath everything in your life, there’s that thing –
that forever empty, youknow?
Just that knowledge that it’s all for nothing
and you’re alone.
It’s down there
And sometimes when things clear away –
you’re not watching it –
you’re your car, and you start saying
oo here it comes – that ‘I am alone’
It starts to hit you
just the sadness
life is tremendously sad – just being in it.
So that’s why we text and drive.
I look around –
pretty much 100% of people driving are texting
and everybody’s murdering each other with their cars.
But people are willing to risk taking a life –
and ruining their own –
because they don’t want tot be alone for a second.
Because it’s so hard.
I was in my car one time, and a Bruce Springsteen song came on.
It gave me a full ‘back to school‘ depression feeling,
and it makes me really sad.
and I go ‘Oh no I’m getting sad‘ –
gotta get the phone and write Hi to 50 people –
and somebody cool writes back.
I started to reach for the phone, and said
‘you know what – don’t.’
Just be sad.
Just let the sadness.
Stand in the way, and let it hit you like a truck.
And I let it come
and I started feeling ‘oh my God‘
I pulled over and I cried, like a bitch –
just cried so much –
and it was beautiful, just beautiful.
Sadness is poetic,
we are lucky to live sad moments.
And then I had happy feelings because of it.
When you let yourself feel sad the body has antibodies –
it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness.
So I was grateful to feel the sad
and then I met it with true, profound happiness.
It was such a trip.
But because we don’t want that first bit of sadness,
we push it away.
For a phone
and you get a little boost.
You never feel completely sad or completely happy
and you feel kind of satisfied
with your product
and then you die.
And that’s why I don’t want to get a phone for my kids.