We're living in humankind's first era of constant connectivity. At this point, our phones are so smart and our connection speeds so fast that the deep, rich world of the internet is always at our fingertips. Our phones are now essentially appendages, tied to our hands whether we’re waiting for the bus, on line at the grocery store, or together with loved ones.
But phones also have a tendency to distract from — and sometimes supplant — human interaction. Comedian Louis C.K. has always been a keen observer of this phenomenon, and seems to find ways to thoughtfully address it every time he visits Conan O'Brien's TBS show.
In September 2013, C.K. explained that he wouldn't get his daughters smartphones because he believed they prevented kids from building empathy. And Thursday, he told O'Brien he's taking a break from the internet because he doesn't like the way it makes him feel. "I don’t like this thing," he said. "I stare into this thing, and it makes me feel upset."
(See the video above for C.K.'s Thursday interview)
Of course, C.K. is in a different position than non-celebrities. He doesn't have to Google for his job or to get basic things done. But his message on what responding to a notification mid-conversation feels like to the person you're speaking with seems pretty universal. "She dies inside every time I do this," he said, of his daughter. "It’s a horrible abandonment."