Has technology taken over our lives? The simple answer is obviously yes, but to what degree. Moreover, how is it affecting the social aspect of our life?
Photographer Eric Pickersgill created a collection of photographs showing just how weird life would look if one just removed consumer devices from everyday life. Through these photos, he strives to show the obsessive pre-occupation that people have with their electronics and gadgets.
Pickersgill’s explores the psychological and social effects that cameras and their artifacts have on individuals and societies as a whole.
The series of photos from ‘Removed’ began as he sat in a café’ one morning, observing a family. He noticed that most of the members of the family were so busy on their smartphones, that they barely spoke to one another.
This is what Pickersgill wrote about his observations
- 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. -
“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.” - Says Pickersgill. He goes on to say that, “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.” Although, he too has been guilty of the same thing, and would frequently turn his back on his wife to look at his smartphone.
Pickersgill asks his subjects to pose while looking at their devices and then removes the phones to capture the images. The photographs show just how addicted we are to our devices.
There’s something real and valuable about talking with someone face to face. This is significant for families, friends, and other recurring people that make up our everyday life.
Sure technology has given us the ability to maintain long-distance relationships that otherwise would probably have not existed, but the fact is that we are ruining the quality of our social interactions with one-another.