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!

Binge Mode

More RT Docs

See All RT Docs Videos

Other Videos You'll Like

Comments (932)

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

    1 week 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

    1 month ago

    I watched this while playing halo and tindering. 

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

    1 month 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 Agent Aussie

    3 months ago

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

    • NGG12 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      2 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

    3 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 Fort Miner

    3 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

    3 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

    4 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

    4 months ago

    What a sick irony that I watched this on my phone

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

    4 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

    4 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

    4 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

    4 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

    5 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

    5 months ago

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

  • Mcdigits462606

    5 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

    6 months ago

    Great Doc!

  • Castinoid Joshua

    6 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 KingJew

      6 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

    6 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

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

    6 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

    6 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 愛の戦士

    6 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

    6 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

    6 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

    6 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

    6 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

    6 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

    6 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

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

    6 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

    6 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

      5 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

    6 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

    6 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

      6 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

    6 months 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

      6 months 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.

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

    6 months ago

    i love my tech but wow this has really made me stop and think about my friends, think its going to make me more conscious about my usage around people

  • IKV91 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    6 months ago

    one of the best documentarys I've ever seen. It made me really think how we go about our daily lives and how technology affects us

  • WindFeather FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold New RTX Guardian!!~

    6 months ago

    I've always thought people who complain about technology and how it actually hinders social interaction rather than helping it were annoying and wrong, considering that I grew up on the internet and having a much easier time talking to people through a screen, people who didn't go to my school and know me from what they'd heard from others. It's so fascinating seeing this, and considering the differences in social and personal behaviors with and without a phone. With the whole Blaine dating thing, I was kinda shocked when I realized that in my head all these cute romantic scenarios of meeting a cute person whilst out and about aren't really possible at all if I spend all of my time on my phone, yknow? It's an eye opening documentary, but I appreciate that they cover the heavy pros of technology and don't really shame it too much. I think I'll try taking a brief technology cleanse every once in a while.


    Side note: I've found leaving my phone on Ultra Battery Saving mode seriously limits my use of it, without access to twitter or tumblr but still being able to call or text if I really need to. Try it sometime :)

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

    7 months ago

    Wow, watching this for the first time and it's great. I don't have any social media so I don't perfectly understand what Blaine and Barbara are going through, but it made me really happy to see them...well, being happy with less and really beginning to treasure face-to-face conversation. Really well put-together documentary too, it was a lot of fun.

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

    7 months ago

    so did Blaine get a date?

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

    7 months ago

    I only just got caught up and gave this a watch. I loved it! Reflecting on technology and its impact on my life has been something I've been going through this past year or so and it was cool to see the concept put forward like this.

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

    7 months ago

    Barb your painting skills are really good!

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

    7 months ago

    It's Funny cuz back then I had the same reaction to texting when I first got my phone, and then I went to college and I found myself checking my phone for texts less because A. I really only have one text mate at a given period of time and B. Things got busy and that was just texting how much more with twitter, instagram, and all the social media we have today. Living in a third world country where data plans are both expensive and unreliable helps a lot and I feel like that deprivation helped me become less of an internet user. Although there is one downside, My friends always pester me to join a group chat to connect with them and I feel left out when I see them in person because they all talk on this group chat so I become disconnected from their conversations half the time.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is that in this day and age it is so normal that becoming not a part of it disconnects us anyway. I wish I can never check my facebook and not have to go on twitter, So I love it when they mention how we have to master technology and its conveniences to change the norm while being a part of the norm.

  • SandleBandit SandleBandit

    7 months ago

    i think maybe if id been able to grow up without this kind of wall between me and the real world i might not have ended up being so afraid to go out and meet new people. It is a sad state we've got into but at the same time it does do some good for people it's like Blain said it would be cool to pick and choose things from both times.

  • Haylee_003 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    7 months ago

    Myself personal I don't use my phone a lot, and I would have to say that, that is a really good thing for an 15 year old girl. This Documentary made me appreciate what I have and, what other people take for granted. This was a beyond eye opening Documentary.

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

    7 months ago

    I subscribed just so that I could watch this, and it met all of my expectations.

    I spent two weeks in Korea without using my smartphone because when I landed, I realized that my service didn't work. Little did I know, it was the best possible scenario. I was completely immersed in my surroundings and interactions with a totally different culture. When I got my phone access back, my reaction was the same as Blaine and Barbara. I didn't want it back, so I started using it much much less in public.

    Really glad this was made. I hope it has a positvie effect on everyone who watches it.

  • ArrJayBee

    7 months ago

    Ah fuck. My conscience, I forgot that was there!


    Now I gotta pay attention to people around me again. God dammit!

    • Haylee_003 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      7 months ago

      Me every time my phone dies in poblic

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

    8 months ago

    How Arin gonna talk about communication if he doesn't text

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

    8 months ago

    I think my experience with this documentary was a little different than most people. This had a bit of an opposite effect for me. There was a period in my life (particularly high school and college) where I was "addicted" to my phone. Recently, I had been using it less and less. This made me want to pick up my phone and connect with some of the friends I hadn't been texting in a while. I'm pretty far away from most of my friends now that we're all moving around the country and finding full time jobs and I'd been losing touch with them. This reminded me that I could very easily strike up conversations with people who aren't physically around me.

  • bcbullock

    8 months ago

    Apparently, they didn't issue Blaine a Thomas Guide...