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We Should All Listen to Louis C.K.'s Advice on Using Smart Phones and 'Being a Person'

Stef McDonald

On "Conan," Louis C.K. offered a perspective on our culture's use of smart phones that gets to the heart of the matter. He starts with how he won't allow his kids to have mobile phones, then launches into a moving and hilarious explanation of why that includes insights into cyber-bullying, texting and driving, emotional health, and "being a person." (Oh, and the amazingness of Bruce Springsteen.) Best advice: "you need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something."

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  • Casey Caplowe

    I increasingly feel like Louis CK is one of the better people out there. Truly and honestly good. That sometimes gets missed in his crassness, but it seems like he's really pursuing this brutally honest wholesomeness in the end. And he has this way of not at all judging the bad, but definitely calling it out as such.

    • Stef McDonald

      Yes, the brutally honest aspect is what makes these "rants/bits/monologues/routines" so meaningful and real. And I love that he takes you on a ride with him to get there.

  • David Zimmerman

    I love Louie CK, and he makes a valid point here. He's does it in a comedic manner, but everything he says is completely true. I can't believe how many kids under the age of 10 I see with smart phones or tablets. When I used to work at a fine dining restaurant while living in Colorado, I would see this happen nearly every night. We had crayons for kids to use for their paper menus, but instead they would be infatuated in a zombie-like state, drooling over these screens. Scary to think how the next gen of kids will socialize and play. Will it all be through digital connections?

    • Stef McDonald

      Yes, agree it's scary. We can easily trick ourselves into thinking we are engaging and connecting when we are one step (or a half-step) removed from meaningful interactions. There's a definite need to find balance.

  • Alan Bishop

    It really is a great piece. At times I still know it's a "Bit" but I think Louis really speaks from the heart too. We all know that place that he is speaking about. We all can understand it when he makes the reference to children calling someone "fat" either to their face or via text.
    It's a good thing to share and talk about.

    • Stef McDonald

      Yes! I've talked to a lot of people who have said the part here about face-less communication via text is what resonated the most for them. Meaning and impact really can be affected by the delivery.

  • Phume Mthimunye

    I just watched this clip yesterday and was genuinely moved by Louis C.K.'s honesty. He's one of my favorite people as well, because he never shies away from the uncomfortable human stuff. It's almost as if he's testing everyone to see how honest/real they can get without bailing from the conversation.

    • Stef McDonald

      Right? Love when a commentary prompts you to look around (and at yourself). "Uncomfortable" material can often be the most touching.

  • Jan Simson

    He's one of my favorite comedians because he has the ability to teach, inspire, and make people really think about stuff through comedy.

  • Ritu Pant

    Louis C.K. reminds me a lot of George Carlin. Their take on "life" in general and the things around us are very refreshing to see.

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Something I do like about his take is the point on loneliness. People are constantly trying to connect on their phones bec of it. Another comedian I really respect for her take on life is Maria Bamford. Her new album "Ask Me About My New God" touches upon mental health in a really important way. She's always been someone I truly respect, because at the end of her routines, she makes a point of connecting with those that do struggle with depression, etc. She actually wrote a pet diary for us a while back. I really loved it:

      • janelle kacz

        Alessandra, thank you so much for your post! I just read the pet diary by Maria Bamford and loved it. I will definitely check out more of her writings.
        WWBD? ;)

    • Stef McDonald

      Great point. And C.K. has made a point of crediting Carlin with influencing his approach. While many comics weave social commentary into their routines, it can sometimes come across as light-handed. I prefer commentaries like this—ones that surprise you with insight and depth. (While still making you laugh, of course!)