I don’t know if the whole wide world has seen this “Look Up” video clip yet (attached at the end of this post), but my Dad just sent it to me yesterday.

It hit me hard, and the end made me tear up a little bit.

I thought it was really well done and wanted to share it.  (It does have one word I don’t like in it, just a heads up for those who are sensitive about that.)

It was sent in a group email to my whole family.  After I watched I read a couple responses from family members (with tear-swimming eyes) that were bugged that sometimes technology is looked on in such a negative light.

I SO agree.  My brother mentioned that if it weren’t for technology we wouldn’t have been able to be in such close contact with my other brother who has just gone through so much with his new baby (over HERE).  We knew exactly what was happening at every second and when she was in surgery, etc.  It felt so good to feel so close even though we’re so far away.  I wouldn’t have felt my heart jump when I got a text with this picture when she got to leave the ICU:

Other siblings piped up about how much they love to get inspired by technology.

I thought about how much I love texting my kids sometimes during the day at school when I know they’re struggling…and I love that they can text me when they’re super excited after doing well on a test (or tell me how sad they are if they didn’t do so well).

I thought about blogging and how much I love having this outlet and learning from so many people all over the world.  I love watching inspiring things and listening to Ted talks, and listening to the scriptures when I can.

There’s no doubt about it, there is so much good in technology.

But as I watched the video sitting in tears by myself yesterday it reminded me of my spur-of-the-moment date to Target with my little girls the night before.  I had to return something and grab something for the house and they wanted to jump in with me.

Half way there I realized i forgot my phone.  And do you know what?  It was the best.  Without that little thing attached to my hip I zoned in on those sweet girls of mine.  How often do I not see them when they’re standing right next to me?

It was a perfect date.  I learned all kinds of new things about them.  I noticed how different their eyes are from each other and they spilled out some worries we got a minute to talk through.

That video from my Dad hit me.  I need to find a better balance.  I’m so grateful for technology and I adore that we have it.

But I need to remember that looking someone in the face, whether it’s my sweet daughters, my dear husband, a friend or even a total stranger, fills up my heart more than anything else can.  

I want to look up at those around me more.  And most of all make more time to Look Up to the One who matters most.

“When you’re too busy looking down, you don’t see the chances you missed.”

This precious present of ours is much too wonderful to miss while looking down.


  1. Thanks for sharing, Shawni! Balance is really what its about and I need to find it a little better in my life. Thanks!

  2. I really liked the song too. It really stuck a chord with me.

    However like your family, I can think of heaps of instances that technology enhances my life. (particularly considering I make computer games).

    I think the real key is balance.

    Technology can NEVER replace real life experiences. I think this song just reminds us of that very important message.

  3. It's funny. I was thinking about this just Tuesday night. I was at Chipotle for BOGO burritos on Teacher Appreciation Day. Much to my family's chagrin, the line was the longest we had ever seen – to the back of the store from the front counter. But we were in it for the long haul. Once we had our food and were sitting, we were able to look back at the entire line we had just waited in and I noticed that at least every other person in the line was staring down at a phone. We have become unable to wait in line or sit at a restaurant table while our date uses the bathroom without entertaining ourselves mindlessly. There is no down time, alone time. It's sad. And, I agree, there are a lot of great things and reasons why I can't detach my own self rom technology. But man, this is a brave new world and I'm not sure that it's for the better. That video definitely made me tear up. I really make it a point these days to try to resist that urge to grab out my phone. When my husband leaves the table at a restaurant, I sit with my thoughts and enjoy people watching. Eating alone at a restaurant is an art that I mastered before the age of smart phones. Lost art, I fear. When we were in line at Chipotle, I struck up a game of "slaps" with the kids. I really want to model for them something different than the nose-in-the-phone. But it sure is tough. Why is it so alluring?!

  4. Sorry about that. I'm having trouble posting my comment.

    I just did a blog post last night about this very thing. I hadn't seen the video though. Thanks for sharing.
    We had a beautiful day here in the Northwest and I was sitting out on my back patio just taking in the sights and smells of the freshly cut grass…I heard birds chirping…I felt the slight breeze as I wrote in my journal. It was nice.
    Elder Ballard spoke at the last CES fireside- about the importance of disconnecting from the noise of the world and having quiet time every day.

    My cousin and her husband turn off all cell phones when he gets home from work- so they spend the evening focusing on family and that which is most important.

    So happy for your brother, sister-in-law and their little miracle baby. She is a cutie.

  5. Shawni,

    thank you for this post. This is something I think about often. I have come t the conclusion that as the mother I need to set the example of how to use technology. I have set a time in the afternoon that i call my "tech hour," so that my children see my using technology and not avoiding it all together, but also not getting on my smart phone constantly throughout the day. My 7 year old charges me a dollar if he sees that I am using my smart phone and it isn't my technology hour:) I love it, but there are some days I am paying him too much. I love all the good that technology brings into our lives, and I feel that the word BALANCE is a perfect word to describe how it should be used. I believe that Looking in someones eyes and really listening send more love to them than telling them.

  6. Love this. 🙂 It's good to turn everything off and soak in family and the people around you! I try to do it OFTEN! I am so thankful, however, for so many wonderful opportunities that technology can provide. Inspiration or encouragement, for instance, are such easy things to share these days because of technology. Even small amounts of either or a mix of both can have wonderful (and sometimes even eternal) consequences. 🙂

  7. I also agree on the word balance. I disagree with Avocado Dawn and using your phone while waiting in the line. People often complain about phones in the bus as well. I actually think that those times are a good time to catch up with the phone because you have nothing else to do while waiting. In my opinion it's worse when people check their phone while being with others.

  8. I know this is super random, but I wasn't sure how else to contact you. I am girls camp director for our ward & we are using the theme "Seek His Light & Shine." I was wondering if you would be willing to share with me the activities you did while at camp. Love the clip your daughter made. Looks like you had a fabulous camp! My email is kevinamy85@hotmail.com if you have a chance to contact me, I would really appreciate it:)

  9. I know this is super random, but I wasn't sure how else to contact you. I am girls camp director for our ward & we are using the theme "Seek His Light & Shine." I was wondering if you would be willing to share with me the activities you did while at camp. Love the clip your daughter made. Looks like you had a fabulous camp! My email is kevinamy85@hotmail.com if you have a chance to contact me, I would really appreciate it:)

  10. That really was powerful, wasn't it. Have you listened to Elder Ballard's address at the last CES fireside? He had some wonderful things to say about technology that I think is a great follow up to this video's message.

  11. Thank You for sharing your experience with your little girls. My best time with my kids have been in the car, especially with my 3 girls. My youngest just got her drivers license and she commented that she misses "our" car time.
    So also, I saw you and Dave in Raleigh last Sunday. I was walking out of the church, with my cute asian grandbaby in my arms, and you and Dave were walking up the sidewalk. You both looked and smiled at me, so you are looking up :). It was sort of random since neither of us live in Raleigh. It was fun seeing you.

  12. Shawni, I too love modern technology. As the family genealogist I can tell you how amazing it is what can be done now to further the work along. Thirty years ago it was very difficult.
    I do have a concern and that is in regard to your comment about texting your kids at school. I am a sub teacher at the high school and junior highs here in Davis County, Utah and the biggest problem I have is dealing with the use of cell phones during class.
    Students are not to use them but they ALL do. And many times it is their parents texting them while they are in class, where they are supposed to be learning. All teens would rather be on their phones doing all the different things they do with them rather than doing their assigned classwork.
    I hope you know your kids schedules and text only when they are in between class or at lunch and I hope they know to only text you at those times as well. I see many teachers have given up on trying to control phone usage in class. It is an uphill battle. Other teachers have students place their phones in a box or basket as they come into class, but those teachers are few and far between.
    I see kids everyday at lunchtime ignoring the people they are with so that they can be on their phones. The leaders of our church have also voiced concerns for the lack of social skills amongst our young people because of technology.
    So, I have mixed feelings about all of this. It makes our lives so much better but also makes it harder as well.
    When we have our kids and grandkids over for family time my husband stands at the door and collects everyone's electronics as they come in the door. It was hard for them at first but now they know what is expected and happily toss those phones in the basket with no complaints.
    I don't know what lies ahead for all of us in regard to the effects of our use of modern technology but I hope it doesn't involve our losing touch with one another.

  13. My two oldest daughters came home from boarding school last night for the weekend (Mother's Day here in Australia this Sunday) and my oldest played this clip for us at the dinner table last night before we ate. It was such a good conversation starter and something as a family we are already very aware of and try to put into practice.
    I particularly like the line referring to smart phones and dumb people.
    Happy weekend to your beautiful family from mine in Australia.

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