This Photographer Showed Us All What We'd Look Like Without Our Phones
#Removed. It's pretty deep.
Where is your phone right now? Is it in your pocket or poised on a surface in front of you? Or are you reading this article on it?
Chances are if it’s not in your hand it’s not too far away, and that’s because most of us are addicted to our phones. Whether it’s constantly Whatsapping, checking for FB/ Insta notifications or even just scrolling though old messages or pictures, our phones provide us with endless entertainment and it’s easy to feel like we couldn’t live without them.
So what happens if you take them away?
That’s what American photographer Eric Pickersgill asked in his series of photographs called ‘Removed’. He took photos of people using their phones in their daily lives and edited the phones out of their hands.
And the pictures are pretty bleak. But they’re brilliant.
Eric first got the idea for the photographs when he was sitting next to a family in a café. The dad and the two daughters were both staring at their phones while the mum stared sadly out of the window. Every so often the dad would announce something to the family but would receive no reply. Eventually the mum also took out her phone.
“The image of that family, the mother’s face, the teenage girls’ and their father’s posture and focus on the palm of their own hands has been burned in my mind,” he wrote on his site. “It was one of those moments where you see something so amazingly common that it startles you into consciousness of what’s actually happening and it is impossible to forget. I see this family at the grocery store, in classrooms, on the side of the highway and in my own bed as I fall asleep next to my wife. We rest back to back on our sides coddling our small, cold, illuminated devices every night.”
IKR - deep.
The idea was to show how mobile phones are changing the way we behave and replacing our real life interactions with friends and family. He calls mobile phones “phantom limbs” because they've become an extension of the body, always in everyones’ hands and used “as a way of signalling busyness and unapproachability to strangers while existing as an addictive force that promotes the splitting of attention between those who are physically with you and those who are not.”
He’s kinda smart.
Although the pics are quite depressing, they’re a reminder of how much we risk missing if we obsess about our phones and prioritise phone interactions over real life ones.
Eric’s pics are a reminder that we need to take a break, and take a good look at the IRL things happening all around us. And, only if it’s for a solid 10/15 minutes a day, maybe it is worth actually removing your phone for a while – it could make a real difference.
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