I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a slave to my phone. So much so that for my daughter’s 10-year-old adventure where she could’ve chosen to go anywhere and do anything in the world, she chose to go camping and that we’d be technology free for the weekend. From managing social media for three companies to making sure articles are edited and go out on time here, from sun up to sun down, I have a phone in my hand and a laptop in front of my face. I know I’m not the only one.
North Carolina photographer Eric Pickersgill offers us a glimpse into just how dependent we are to our phones. In his series, Removed, Eric asked his subjects to pose with their phones in various daily situations and then removes the devices to demonstrate just how absurdly obsessed we as a culture are to our technological devices. Eric was inspired to do the project when he observed a family having breakfast at a restaurant – all of whom were on their phones (except the mother). Eric writes:
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.
Ironically, it’s easier than ever to connect with people around the world, but in doing so, we’ve become more disconnected and less in the moment to the people around us. Eric hopes to remind us of this disconnect in his large format images. The reenactments of the day-to-day scenes that we all experience is absurd when you see the blank stares of people looking into their empty hands. It also serves as a good reminder to put down the phone, tablet, and electronic devices and be present with the people around you. That’s what I’ll be doing this weekend.
CREDITS: Photographs by Eric Pickersgill are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.