Connected

RT Docs: Connected

Follow Barbara Dunkelman and Blaine Gibson as they must survive their work, their social lives and the modern world without the comfort of their cell phones. With interviews from Nicholas Carr, author of the New York Times best-seller The Shallows, and behavioral psychologists Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, Connected explores how our brains change with our use of technology and analyze how we sustain and build relationships in the 21st century.


Watch the Q&A with Blaine and Barbara here!

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Comments (946)

  • ShatteredShadow FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    1 month ago

    I am honestly disappointed in the fact that neither of them got any books for their boredom. Other than that, I do get the dependency on your phone. I use my often when I don't have access to other things, need info, or am ignoring friends (something I do often when around certain people). I'm not on social media or anything like that on my phone, really. However, I do use it to keep up with everything I have going on in my life.

  • CaseyRae FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    1 month ago

    i spent 8 years of my life without a phone, because my family was poor. But even when i had the money to get one, i just didn't. I eventually got a normal cheap one just to stop peoples constant bitching about me not having one. But then i got shit because of the phone not being "the best" to which i replied "I made it this far without it, i'll make it further without it" I basically have this phone just so people can contact me when i'm taking a shit or whatever. I don't text because it's stupid and wastes time when you can just call and say everything in a minute. The only other thing i use my phone for is listening to music when i'm on my way to school/work. 

  • Juzzytv FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    2 months ago

    This was one of the best videos/docos I have ever watched. I am so proud of RT and both Blane & Barbra. 

  • FHRyan86 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    2 months ago

    I've never been one to be that addicted to my phone, but this helped me understand the perspective of those who have careers/lives based on being online. Super cool doc! I wonder if they'll ever revisit this issue when our lives become even more technology based or automated.

  • Blumaliscous FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    2 months ago

    This was really fun to watch. The expert commentary, how they handle it, and even how awkward some of the tech-less interactions were. Calling the girl up out of the blue, or the megaphone advertising, for example. I was also a tad sheepish as Blaine easily called out that one passerby for just staring ahead with headphones. Because that's something I tend to do a lot as well.


    Also, the VHS recordings were really cool. I almost wish more people would record like that regularly. Nostalgia, whatever it is. What can I say, it's cool and I like it. Anywho, another fun watch.

  • Giordano93 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    3 months ago

    Technology makes our lives easier. It helps up stay in contact over long distances as well as allowing us to travel to places without knowing thanks to GPS. Often, we need this. I know that I do in my work. Without technology, my job would be very difficult. But at the same time, we need to remember to make human connections. The amount of times I go out with my mates and they will check their phones constantly, it annoys me. Switching off is very important

    • Juzzytv FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      2 months ago

      Technology is designed to make our lives easier, and it does, but can you imagine the long term effect it has on brain development? Cognitive development? Technology. while being amazing, is basically making us stupid.

  • Ben.Nelsen FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    3 months ago

    Extremely interesting doc... I was in fact, brought to tears at about the 38:00 minute mark. Not that the specific mark had any significance but that is when the weight of the message in this documentary hit me. I am only about 22 years old, and this documentary specifically hit close to home with me personally. 


    I remember when getting a cell phone was a huge deal in High School, and even then you still could not navigate the internet or connect with the world as easily as you can now. This documentary displayed a certain slice of life or even basic communication skills have been lost and forgotten as social perspectives evolved throughout the last decade. 


    One thing specifically that I have taken away from this Documentary is to really look at what is in front of you. Interact with what and who you see, put the phone down and step outside of your personal bubble and comfort zone, that we have all constructed ourselves. Defending ourselves against a saturated anxiety paranoia that we as individuals have established can not benefit anyone on a personal degree.   

  • OnlyAverage FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    3 months ago

    Jesus christ that megaphone part made me feel awkward. I couldn't even imagine having to actually do that.

  • MyFishDicks

    3 months ago

    I just finished my schooling where I lived in a log cabin out in the woods of Michigan where I had no internet or computer for 6 months, I could last 7 days without any problems haha

  • Billium21 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    3 months ago

    For me, growing up in a world that had this kind of tech available to me from a young age (I was texting before high school and my first laptop before that :P) it was a source of comfort for me. I was never the naturally outgoing type, so tech gave me an outlet I didn't have before and allowed me to meet and interact with folks I never would have had the confidence to normally. And while I agree with the sentiment that people lose some social skill when they grow up with and ultimately begin to depend on technology for social situations, can it be said that they lose something that they never really had to begin with? I feel like the subject of the doc only applies to people who were born before the advent of high tech, wherein they were forced to develop those skills and THEN lost them as phones and computers became smarter.


    Ultimately, (and I'm trying hard not to say this as a technology professional) I think the development of smartphones and other technology has helped far more than it has hurt. Much love to Barb and Blaine though! I'd probably never have lasted that long....

  • Rippedyanu1 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    3 months ago

    "When my phone is dead, so am I" Poppy spoke the truth on this one

  • ZeusBaxter FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold THAT Guy

    3 months ago

    Its pretty sad to see the concept of utter dependance on cell phones in particular. As a man in my 30s i remember when cell phones and the internet came out to the public. I was a teenager and before then it was easier than depicted in this doc simply because everyone else had the same options as you. In the doc it showed social situations and everyone but them on thier phones. Doing a clense today would be very taxing mentally since youd be the only one lacking the tech. Back then it was easier to have conversations and listen to people. Since it was one of the most important skills to have since the entire social order depended in it. Progress for the individual but regress for the group. Tech has made our individual lives more efficient and convenient. But what we lost was the skill to bond and adapt in random groups therfore dividing us even when its claimed that technology connects us.

  • Furitaurus FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    3 months ago

    Well, I'm no expert on art but looking at her painting, I'd say Barbara's got some skills with a brush that we don't get to see very often!

  • Severuss

    3 months ago

    Lol oh man I forgot how we all used to call our friends and leave the "7 days!" message on eachother's answering machines.

  • stripe103 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    3 months ago

    With how our world looks today, I don't think it's possible to just deny the progress, but the documentary has certainly given some food for thought in what is most important..

  • Jgulezian FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    5 months ago

    I think I could totally live without my phone for a week, if not more.  But no technology whatsoever?  That would be rough... grin thumbsup

  • Embassy_II FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    6 months ago

    I watched this while playing halo and tindering. 

  • RaiderRigby FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    6 months ago

    If this is a sponsor only doc, why do they feel the need to tell us what RT is?

  • Mudgey1099 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold dead

    8 months ago

    As a 17 year old I actually found this doc extremely interesting! It's a real eye opener!  eyes

    • NGG12

      7 months ago

      I agree I might do this myself during a break from school just to experience what tech was like when I was born.

  • Ooaul FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of the .Gifs

    8 months ago

    I love how Blaine's instinct reaction to the pager was to smell it.    blaine

  • srvvlhm FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold David Kane

    8 months ago

    I am Geoff's age so I found this quite funny that they had such a hard time without there phones. Mine has been in the other room all day. If it doesn't beep or ring I don't need to look at it. 

  • Ringengrau FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    9 months ago

    This was actually really interesting and insightful.  I'll make a point to not take out my phone while talking to someone as well.  10/10 would doc again. 

  • DreaYoungken98 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    9 months ago

    blaine said on the most recent podcast that he has a girlfriend of 7 months! This was released 5 months ago... I think/hope his current actual relationship (not hookup) is gonna last. Cuz damn, 7 months is already a hella long time :D

  • Geo_Star FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    9 months ago

    What a sick irony that I watched this on my phone

  • xerca-trova Funhoozer

    9 months ago

    What a coincidence that the crappy video player they use for this website also happens to be from 1989.

  • Gurlzrule FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    9 months ago

    They seemed so much happier by the end and seeing the world

  • Kagaminemat24 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    9 months ago

    Love RT Doc cant wait to see what comes next!

  • Thehood_62 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    10 months ago

    wow. no words can explain what all is going through my brain right now after seeing this doc. I rly need to take a step back on my life and see what all i am doing with my life that is just so time consuming that its taking more FROM my life, than it is adding TO my life... thanks RoosterTeeth, you know i never thought i would like actually learn anything profitable in life from you guys, i normally just use you guys as my outlet where i go to escape the real world. but today you guys showed me a new perspective, a new idea to try to live life better than to just accept life for how it is. we only have limited time, and i wanna live life to the fullest. and for that, i (again) say THANKS!

  • SteveJames

    10 months ago

    I would love to see another doc like this. It was really cool to see how they slowly, but surely, sort of dislocated themselves from the social world online. They should for sure do this again, but maybe different people and more of them? Very well made loved it!! thank you roosterteeth for all the fantastic content i have had the pleasure of enjoying over the past 12 years

  • DrippyWafflr FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    10 months ago

    I love that Blaine's first reaction is to sniff the pager.

  • Mcdigits462606

    10 months ago

    Great Doc, I'm 25 and i've never been too connected to social media or a smart phone (mine only flips) so i tend to notice the effect they have on day to day interactions quite frequently and it's a shame how negatively it has effected social skills in some aspects these days.


    Growing up a gamer i learned to prioritize socializing over technology so if family or friends were over i wasn't just glued to the new game i got recently and really the game/social media won't go anywhere but the direct social interaction will, life moves fast these days so it's best to enjoy the time spent with others before it takes over.

  • Smorzombies FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    Great Doc!

  • Castinoid Joshua

    11 months ago

    Now that Pokemon Go is out, having a Part 2 of this would be interesting to see what angle they can shoot from (since people are still obsessed with the game atm).

    • Hi-Chew FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold KingJew

      11 months ago

      It would also be schweet if they did a part 2 for a longer time, more people, and a control and variable group. They seem to want to run it as a psych test so why not just go all the way

  • LosJoncases FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    i know I shouldn't use post 1989 technology to comment this, but great job Barbara and Blaine

  • BethConner FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    I'm about to spend a few days on a 100 year old paddle steamer. Don't be too worried about tech from 1989, that's nothing.

  • RichardPero

    11 months ago

    This reminded me about when I was in basic training with no cell phone for 60 days, it's nice to see that other people can find an appreciation of a lack of technology in their lives the same way I did. I stopped checking my phone every single time I got a notification and I just gave my full attention to what was happening in front of me. It's honestly amazing the amount of precious time people miss when they are paying attention to their phones instead of what is right in front of them.

  • Dushmutt FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    I love how Blaine's first reaction when he got the pager was to smell it

  • Jianju FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold 01101000 01101001

    11 months ago

    I loved going to my great grandmother's cabin for a week every summer in northern Wisconsin. There were two lightbulbs and that was all the electricity in the place. A one room cabin without plumbing, it had an old fashioned crank that brought up well water and there was a detached outhouse on the property. The only way to cook food was on the camp fire outside. And the only entertainment was each other and the river/dock. But I loved it! I fished and swam, roasted marshmallows, got eaten alive by mosquitoes, biting ants, leeches, and spiders.... yeah it was great. The deer would come to the river to drink in the early morning. Bald eagles had a nest on a tree on an island in the middle of the river. There were also muskrats, cranes, raccoons, snakes, ducks, and geese. The whole family around the campfire talking every night was probably the best part though.

    Now I have netflix.

  • Marhunter FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold pyro-enthusiast

    11 months ago

    i feel like the fact that blaine almost completely shut down socially when he was unable to text in any way is somehow worse than the fact that they both were bored out of their minds when i know for a fact there is 100 different things they could be doing with 1989 tech.

  • blux FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    Barbara's dutch angles with the video tape camera were hilarious.

  • bradyward FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    i found this funny because all i have for internet is my computer the next techy thing i own is my PS2, my phone is mostly off

  • Rascythe FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    Love how Blaine got progressively more and more 90s.

  • A720BOXER FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    Awesome Doc and a learning experience for the younger generation for sure. Wish more people than just the Sponsors could see this, with all its great production value and cast.

  • Nicholette831

    11 months ago

    I really wish there was a way for this message to be received by other people than just the sponsors of the RT site. Seeing as I'm an eighteen year old who has grown up with all this technology around them, I remember the days where I would go outside and hang out with my friends until the street lights would come on. I would actually enjoy life in ways that I don't now. Now, I text my friends at random hours of the day, make plans, and then play on my phone while I'm supposed to be hanging out with said friends. Honestly, after seeing this, I'm going to try to make it a point to not be on my phone or computer as much; I'm actually going to go outside and enjoy things like I used to when I was a kid. Thank you for creating this documentary, RT. It's truly amazing.

  • Archibald_Crippledick FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    I personally try to avoid looking at my phone when I'm out in social situations. The fact that you guys have also found so much joy from distancing yourself from technology is wonderful. There's so much out there to see and do that just isn't the same if you're looking through a screen.

  • Antti

    11 months ago

    That was a very enjoyable documentary to watch : )

  • Star579 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    I feel like they didn't emphasize the need for balance. Technology isn't some huge evil thing that takes away life. It's something that is absolutely marvelous. And the idea that "everyone always has their heads in their smartphones" while correct, is not something new. When it was just newspapers or books, people did the same, and there were people who criticized the same phenomenon. A lot of it is juvenoia, and vsauce made a great video on it.

    • Gordondd15 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      10 months ago

      yeah that was the part that i didnt like about it is that the focused a bit too heavily on the negative side of it. otherwise it was great

  • Kennyschafer Mrkennyschafer

    11 months ago

    I might be a little biased, but this is one of the best documentaries i have watched in recent years, and made me rethink the usage time on my phone. I do notice a lot of times i will be in mid conversation with others, and they pull out their phone, but there isn't much you can do at that point but wait. Some are nice enough to act like they are listening, while others just ignore what you say completely. Hopefully by sharing this and getting more people to watch this, they will understand how it feels on the other end when being ignored, and also help people understand that there is more then the digital world we surround our selves with. Now to stare off into the distance and pretend i don't own a phone.

  • crazynobs FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    11 months ago

    This was really inspiring. As someone who has a top-of-the-line smartphone but isn't very attached to it, I often spot people staring at their screens while out in nature, at social events, out to dinner, etc. when they should instead be absorbing what's around them (like the people Blaine and Barbara were laughing at...cough cough Aaron and Chris, and blue shirt guy).


    Imagining how well I would handle their experiment is interesting, because of my stance on smartphones and social media. As a 20 year old, I can blatantly tell I am in the minority of my generation when I say I don't really care for my social media accounts and how (often) I use my smartphone.


    I don't think losing my smartphone would impact me too heavily; especially for only a week or so. The only social media account I actively use is Twitter, and I don't really care for it. Yeah, I follow lots of people I think are cool (like Rooster Teeth employees) but I only ever really use Twitter for the news aspect...and I also still read the newspaper every morning with my breakfast. I don't use apps like Tinder, Snapchat, or Tumblr and the like, and I generally only text people if I want a quick chat or am trying to make plans with someone. In other words, I generally wouldn't miss anything as I don't bother with it much to begin with.


    The only big thing I would be inconvenienced with losing my phone would be contacting my significant other in an emergency, and GPS/navigation. 90% of the data I use on my phone is Google Maps, as it's so much more convenient than reading a road map.


    Where I'd really fall short is regarding my pastimes. I practically live for three things: exercising, gaming, and YouTube content. Don't get me wrong - I love me some classic Pac-Man, but it has nothing on GTA V, Fallout 4, Halo 5, etc. YouTube would obviously be out of the question; what makes it worse for me is that I dislike movies and television (think of me as AH's Jeremy - I'm exactly like him in the sense that I've seen absolutely nothing and have no will to change it), so watching TV or movies wouldn't do anything for me. Even exercising would become a chore, because carrying around a clunky Walkman at the gym or while I'm out for a jog/bike ride would quickly become a tedious task.


    Pretty much, I could live without my smartphone, save that I would miss the easy navigation. But where I WOULD struggle is where it would hit me hardest - not being able to use my PC, PS4, 3DS, etc. to do what I love most would wreck me.

    • Star579 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      11 months ago

      You sound exactly like me. I don't use any social media. I have Facebook so I can use the chat function and I don't text a ton. And I use my phone mainly for GPS, music, and watching Youtube when I'm away from my computer.

  • PhantomFeathers FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    1 year ago

    I once spent a day avoiding a website I wanted to spend less time on and ended up eating a shit-ton of food out of withdrawal. Predictable.

    This was a delightful look into the sociological effects of technology from a company that relies on it in order to thrive. I actually love how you enlisted people who study human behavior to complement the experiment as it played out. Dear God, your attempts at streetside social media were painfully awkward and wonderful. I'd be intrigued if I came across that scene as a stranger.


    I didn't realize the homes would be renovated too. This is somehow hilarious, but proves how serious you were about this experiment. There's something about the way you filmed this and the observations you made that touched upon the disassociated loneliness that comes from the Internet's worldwide necessity and dependence (ironically, to stay up to date with what's happening right now around the planet). The Internet is its own world, and to remember the one you turned you back on is jarring, in a tentative way after you begin to wonder what it is you left behind. Overall, psychologists' words wove with two intrepid technological dependents to create some form of insight about the modern we slid into after technology twined with the real.


    And God, I got that Bill Cosby book in a white elephant exchange for Christmas.

    • PhantomFeathers FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      1 year ago

      I'm aware there are places that get by with little to no (or restricted) technology. Those communities are often happy and fulfilled. But the absence of tech almost seems to wall them off from the high-speed information exchange that sometimes is the messenger, when current events need to be spread. It's fascinating knowing that these isolated places exist, and we seem to be drawn to them in our curiosity to know what is and isn't necessary in using technology to stay connected.