Viral Video Imagines What Would Happen if Smartphone Use Got Out of Control

Henry Baker

Technology has changed socializing a lot. After meeting someone, you can Facebook-stalk them to your heart's content, and get some background on who this person is. You also have the power to be connected to the rest of the world at a moment's notice. But the change that is most visible has to be the complete takeover of people's hands and pockets by phones. In a new, very viral video, Charlene deGuzman laments what has happened to our social lives, thanks to phones. And it looks super bleak.

In the video, titled "I Forgot My Phone,' we see embellished scenes of what would otherwise be exciting activities for their own sake turning into ones of boredom, alienation, or downright silliness, thanks to phone use. DeGuzman herself stars as the often-miffed individual who isn't glued to a brightly lit screen. Her voice gets ignored. Her strikes in bowling are never noticed. People focus more on taking photos of a birthday party than enjoying the party itself. And her day begins how it ends — with her partner lying next to her, staring zombie-like into the screen of a smartphone.

The whole thing, aside from being very funny, is also straight-up depressing. The situations are exaggerated (I hope!), but the video does seem to portend some sort of future where, instead of thinking about any aspect of "now," we are focused completely on another location and time.

The video obviously hit a nerve with the Web, as it has gotten more than 13.5 million views in just six days. With all those fans, it seems that there is a strong contingent of people who are willing to put the phone away for a while.

But what should the rules be? How do you decide on phone etiquette? And would you have the gumption to follow those rules, or even more importantly,enforce them? Let us know on our Facebook page, or by following us on Twitter.