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SOCIETY

Look Up

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 into a __1__.

I took a step back and opened my eyes, I looked around and realised
this media we call social is anything but.

When we open up our computers
and it’s our doors we __2__.

All this technology we have it’s just an illusion,
community companionship – a sense of __3__.

Yet when you step away from this device of delusion
you awaken to see a world of __4__.

A world where we’re slaves to technology we master,
where information gets sold by some rich greedy bastard.

A world of self-interest, self-image, self-promotion,
where we all share our best bits but leave out the __5__.

We’re at our most happy with an experience we __6__,
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 __7__.

We put our words into order until our lives are __8__.
We don’t even know if anyone is listening.

Being alone isn’t the problem. Let me just __9__: we read a book, paint a picture or do some exercise, you’re being productive
and present, not reserved and __10__, 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 your menu or your contact list,
just talk to one another, learn to __11__.

I can’t stand to hear the silence of a busy commuter train,
where no one wants to talk for the fear of looking insane.

We’re becoming unsocial, it no longer __12__
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 and think it’s the norm.

It’s not very likely that you’ll make the 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,
I’d be out with my friends on our bikes we would __13__.

I’d wear holes in my trainers and graze up my knees,
we’d build our own club house high up in the trees.

Now the park is so quiet that it gives me a chill,
see no children outside and the swings hanging still.

There’s no skipping, no hopscotch, no church and no __14__.
We’re a generation of idiots, smartphones 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, that’s when love __15__.

The time she first held your hand or first kissed your lips,
the time you first disagreed but still loved 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,
the time you wipe away the tears as your baby flees the __16__.

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

The time you take in all you’ve made just by giving life __17__,
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, lay a kiss upon her head.

She then whispers to you quietly, as her heart gives a final __18__,
that’s she’s lucky that 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 finite 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 __19__.

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 __20__,
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.