I Forgot My Phone

In this film, we follow a woman through a multitude of social and intimate contexts and find that the most striking characteristic is that she is the only one without a phone. Shot with minimal dialogue, we see the people around her using their phones as a filter for their experiences, preventing them from connecting to the people and environment around themselves.

Consider This

Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more. Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Share your thoughts in the comment section, below!

Meet the Filmmaker

Charlene deGuzman is a writer and actor who first garnered attention from tweeting her self-deprecating thoughts as @charstarlene. Rolling Stone named her one of the “Funniest People on Twitter Right Now.” She went on to write and star in her own short films, and her most popular one, “I Forgot My Phone,” has over 51 million views on YouTube and was featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Time, NPR, Good Morning America, and The Today Show.

Charlene is an advocate for self-love and bringing awareness to sex and love addiction. She speaks publicly about her recovery and has her own advice column with FLOOD magazine. Charlene wrote her first feature film, Unlovable, which premiered at SXSW in 2018 and received special jury recognition. It stars Charlene, John Hawkes, and Melissa Leo, and was produced by the Duplass Brothers. Miles Crawford began filmmaking, initiated by his professional career in music and theatre: where he performed Off-Broadway and internationally toured with STOMP.

As a musician, he drummed alongside Eminem, Ringo Starr, Art Garfunkel, Darwin Deez, Bronagh Gallagher, and others. His directional debut, music video DNA was nominated for a UK MVA. Collaborative shorts with Charlene deGuzman: I Forgot My Phone has over 51M views, receiving attention from news outlets around the world; and Drum-Off, was featured at LACMA’s Young Directors Night. Miles is Associate Producer of the feature film Crown Heights – winner of the Audience Award at Sundance 2017. He finds inspiration working with young artists as a director and choreographer in Los Angeles for SMMUSD and THEATRE 31, and in Brazil with the non-profit Quabales. He is currently writing a feature film.

Join the Conversation

How does the film change your perspective on what addiction can look like? When nothing outwardly seems wrong, how can we check-in with friends and family to make sure they’re coping and have someone to confide in?

Share your responses in the comment box below:


  1. Anonymous

    awesome reminder of the importance to experiencing real life-Not living virtually

  2. Anonymous

    I went to a concert and noticed so many people had their phones out recording the concert instead of just looking at the people directly performing they were looking through their phone. I feel like we should just enjoy the moment and remember with your mind. The people performing I sure would like it if you were paying attention to them.

    • Anonymous

      It’s true people can’t live without there iPhone, but I will just find someone and kinda stop there phone fetishized and our time flys because we’re enjoying conversation, I usually get everyone talking while waiting and I think it was a rare theoropy that’s lost in this iPhone time.

  3. KP

    I see this becoming more and more common every day. This can make people feel very unimportant and lonely despite how many people are with them. So sad!

  4. Anonymous

    We should enjoy more with the people around us, not just being on the phone.

  5. sarah

    i am aware of how much i am, and other people my age/generation are, on our phones. i try to be present and in the moment and see how i would never use my phone in some of the circumstances shown in the video, but i also know that i am not too far from that – and it makes me self conscious and uncomfortable!

  6. Anonymous

    I agree that being with people while they’re are on their phones can be one of the most utterly rejecting experiences in life. It’s as if the other person doesn’t even want to waste their words telling you that they find everyone else more interesting than you.

  7. Carly

    Reminder that we miss so much if glued to our phones

  8. Anonymous

    Time to live in the present

  9. CM

    Interesting look at the impact that being on our phones has on the people around us.

  10. Tanya

    It really made me realize how addicted I have become to my phone and how much I am missing out on the moments and experiences that are happening right before me.

  11. Anonymous

    Ahh! I hate cell phones and I want to throw mine away after watching this. Watching the young girl sitting on the swing and not swinging is so depressing!

  12. Anonymous

    This is why I hate technology! Too easily accessible. Missing out on personal life events.

  13. Anonymous

    It made me realize that people nowadays can not live without cell phones. Cell phone can be convenient like taking picture on Birth Day party but people should put the phone down when going to bowling

  14. Anonymous

    i def agree

  15. Anonymous

    I spent the day today at my sons baseball games. I looked at all the parents who were on their phones instead of cheering, or watching. It was eye opening. It didnt include me today, because I had watched this, but it would have been to an extent on other days. Its time to put down the phone and engage again.

  16. Anonymous

    I spent my day shuttling my children to and from school, grocery shopping, and taking a walk around a nearby lake, all while my phone sat powered off on my kitchen table. At first it was terrifying, but within the first hour i started to notice more going on around me. I’m old enough to remember what life was like without having a cellphone with me at all times. Might be time to go back to that.

  17. M

    In today’s society, the phone is an integral part of living. Hence, being separated from one’s phone could sometimes good because it frees a person from the noise of life. Like before the inventions of TV and radio, people were more focus on the personal interaction without outside interference. It is a personal choice for someone to have or not have a phone with them at all times.

    From the story, the main actor shows her disappointments that the people she hangs around with are prisoners of their phones.

  18. Anonymous

    Good awareness video.

  19. Anonymous

    I relate to this, but am also pretty sure i am not really willing to give up my phone……

  20. Saoudy Saoudy

    True and real .How can we come back to be able communicate with one another without the smart phone.

  21. Anonymous

    I think as a society we spend way to much time on our phone and on social media, I have tried in the past to reduce my time on my phone, but its hard to consist.

  22. Anonymous

    We miss out everything around us as we are so attached to our phones

  23. David Schmitter

    Interesting video. Personally, I’ve observed the interactions with 4 generations together (my mom-88, me -60, my kids-30s, and their kids- 5 and under. My 88-year old mom – never has the cell phone out; ‘it’s only used for emergencies’ – she just enjoys in-person 1:1 interactions, my 50-60 generation – tends to use phones sparingly, but we will use it if it gets information to help the discussion, 30s kids – will use it commonly, with the older 30s less, and the 20-somethings common – they’ve grown up with phones, and the under 5-year olds: MUCH prefers playing, interacting in person. I recently left mine home, and had to run through thoughts in my head – will I need it to navigate? Will I get calls? What about messages? Our society is slowly losing the skills of interpersonal interaction, and building strong relationships!

  24. Heidi

    Great reminder to enjoy the fall colors!

  25. Anonymous

    I agree the phone can be a very negative thing but there are some positives to a phone also but it is true in the regard that we need to determine when is the right time and wrong time to be on it, that is a huge struggle with many these days.

  26. Anonymous

    Society screams at us that we need to be “connected” all the time, yet this “connected” has disconnected us from experiencing our lives in the moment. So sad.

  27. Anonymous

    More than a reminder! It’s a warning!

  28. Jennifer

    I use my phone little and found this film interesting. I would not like to be excessively engaged on the phone and miss numerous moments in life.

  29. Anonymous

    I agree that there are right and wrong times to use your phone and sometimes these devices are so consuming that we waste our time focusing on things that don’t matter on the device and miss out on the things happening right in front of us.

  30. Phil

    Such a true visual statement of where we are all at today living inside our devices…… Sad

  31. Kari

    The beach proposal 😂 Feel like this could have served as some inspiration for Jordan Peele’s NOPE. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy shorts- I sometimes lose interest in long movies.


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