People with heads bowed and fingers sliding over a smartphone screen while walking, drinking coffee or waiting for a cab. At least one group in Victoria wonders and worries that technology is beginning to promote exclusion.
“The idea is to promote the mindful use of your handheld device,” said Mena Westhaver, one of five delegates from Leadership Victoria who created the project. “We know it’s out there so why not, instead of kiboshing technology … say ‘OK lets use it in a fun way, look up and take a photo of what you’re seeing.”
Look Up BC encourages people of all ages to reconnect with the local community, surroundings and the environment. The first Look Up BC Campaign (#LookUpBC) launched Feb. 15 and the photo contest runs to April 30 with a windup party May 9 at Uptown’s main plaza.
The concept is to reconnect people and their community, the Saanich woman said. “It’s to really bring back that engagement of talking and looking people eye to eye,” she said.
Participate by entering photos of what you see when you look up. Share your view of the world through your handheld device and enter to win prizes. The grand prize is an Ultimate WildPlayer Package including a Monkido Aerial Adventure and Bungy Jumping donated by WildPlay Element Parks.
The Look Up BC campaign is a partnership between a group of Leadership Victoria participants and the Saanich Youth Team.
“Youth are living and breathing the new wave of handheld devices. It’s just their third hand, they know no life without it, so they’re a great vehicle for us to get the voice out to that population,” Westhaver said. “Many are able to put it down. There is still a balance out there.”
Submit photos online at cheknews.ca. Click the “Look Up BC” button to post a photo and vote. One winner will be selected – though you can enter multiple times – as a finalist each week until April 30. Four selected images will go to online voting from May 1 to 7 which will decide the grand prize winner.
The winner will be announced during a wrap party at Uptown on May 9 from 3 to 7 p.m. The event will include a variety of attractions and educational displays.