Wednesday, November 7, 2018

"This photographer will make you think again about your phone use"

The photographer Eric Pickersgill has captured what this means for our personal lives in a series of disconcerting images. The project is called Removed, because Pickersgill physically removes the phones from his subjects' hands, but asks them to hold their posture and focus.

The idea was prompted by a commonplace visit to a café, which Pickersgill wrote about as follows:

Family sitting next to me at Illium café in Troy, NY is so disconnected from one another. Not much talking. Father and two daughters have their own phones out. Mom doesn’t have one or chooses to leave it put away. She stares out the window, sad and alone in the company of her closest family. Dad looks up every so often to announce some obscure piece of info he found online. Twice he goes on about a large fish that was caught. No one replies. I am saddened by the use of technology for interaction in exchange for not interacting. This has never happened before and I doubt we have scratched the surface of the social impact of this new experience. Mom has her phone out now.

Pickersgill is not set on demonizing the smartphone, but drawing attention to the way it can erode our relationships if we're not aware of our habits.

See and read more:

I can't believe how quickly this device has become addictive and so common-place. When I ride the train to and from work it seems that everyone is using their smartphone, isolated in their own private wagamama world. I usually find Bill Marh to be (entertainingly) obnoxious. But he has some good points here...

New Rule: Social Media is the New Nicotine | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO), published on May 12, 2017.

I liken the smartphone to the addictive game from season 5, episode 6 (October 28, 1991) of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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