Photographer Removes Phones From His Images. The Results? A Disturbing Reality Check!

Not nearly ago we featured a photographer doing some pretty cool work to show how inauthentic our Instagram lives are. And now photographer Eric Pickersgill is showing us just how unreal our real lives look when we remove our handheld technology from them.

We’ve talked a lot about how our generation’s addiction to technology is harmful.

But seeing these powerful still images is an easy reminder of all the moments we’re missing when we’re connected to the Internet rather than connecting with others.

Here’s what Pickersgill has to say about the project:

“The joining of people to devices has been rapid and unalterable. The application of the personal device in daily life has made tasks take less time. Far away places and people feel closer than ever before. Despite the obvious benefits that these advances in technology have contributed to society, the social and physical implications are slowly revealing themselves. In similar ways that photography transformed the lived experience into the photographable, performable, and reproducible experience, personal devices are shifting behaviors while simultaneously blending into the landscape by taking form as being one with the body. This phantom limb is used as a way of signaling 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.”

To be clear, he removes the phones before he takes the photos. He asks his subjects to remain in the same position while holding the same expression on their faces as he removes the device from their hands.

If these photographs looks eerie and empty to you, that’s the point. And maybe next time you’re hanging out with friends and family you’ll choose to ‘like’ them more than what’s on your phone.

All photos courtesy of Eric Pickersgill.






According to the Pew Research Center, 65% of American adults use social networking websites, a number that has risen steadily from 7% in 2005 when their research began. The digital pandemic has become so severe that it is almost more common to see a person looking at their phone as you pass them by on the street than it is to actually make eye contact or share a smile with them.

Inspired by: Collective Evolution
Sources: Notable
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