Viral Now: The social phenomenon

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | October 14, 2013
The video has got about 2 crore 56 lakh views on YouTube in seven weeks.

The video reminded me of that one week when I didn't carry a cell phone, simply because I had lost mine. My first day without a phone (after about six years of being attached to the gadget) began when I nearly bumped into a senior colleague in the office canteen, who was too busy typing a text on her mobile to notice where she was going.

Later, during the lunch break, I realised, again for the first time since I did not have the all consuming device, that the canteen was silent, unlike my college canteen. As I looked around, I realised that everyone was glued to their smartphones, nearly oblivious of the other occupants sharing their table.

Filipina-American actor and comedian Charlene deGuzman and director Miles Crawford have depicted this phenomenon very well in a video that is catching the attention of the online crowd. DeGuzman, who wrote and starred in the video, perfectly brings out the small things that people miss in life because they are busy with the smaller things in their smartphones.

Reasons for clinging on to the mobile phone vary from plain 'socialising' to 'collecting memories'. The video shows a little girl sitting on a swing, who forgets to enjoy the ride. In a concert, at a bowling junction or lying cosy in bed, the protagonist realises that there is no-one around her to enjoy the moment. While everyone in the audience at a music concert is busy capturing the video, the friends at the bowling alley don't notice her perfect shot (as they are socialising on their phones). Even her boyfriend isn't really there (since he's looking for updates on his phone).

The video has attracted more than 2 crore 56 lakh views on YouTube, within seven weeks.

According to deGuzman's Tumblur update , the idea came to her when she went to attend a concert of her favourite DJ and realised that everyone was busy filming it. She adds, "It makes me sad because there is a moment happening right in front of you, right this second, and you're missing it," she says.

(Viral Now is a section about videos that are catching people's fancy on social media).

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