How badly do you depend on your phone? Can you even afford to spend a decent amount of time away from it?
As you debate on this important question, consider what Eric Pickergill, an American photographer, discovered with his "Removed" photo project.
In a sobering discovery, he proves just how bad our addiction to smartphones has become.
The photos make it clear that we really need to put down our phones and give more attention to those around us because things are clearly getting out of hand.
In the photos, Pickergill has removed phones and other mobile gadgets from the subjects' hands. What he comes up with demonstrates the depth of our mobile technology addiction.
Lives Are Passing People By Because They Won't Put Down Their Phones
The photographer is not doing this to make himself look good by preaching about the downsides of phone addiction.
In fact, he admits that he is also affected by the problem, and that he spends so much of his time on this handy gadget, just like the rest of us.
But What Made Him Start This Project?
Apparently, he came across a particular family while he was taking notes at a café in New York. He commented: "Family sitting next to me at Illium café in Troy, NY is so disconnected from one another. Not much talking."
"Father and their two daughters have their phones out. Mom doesn't have one or chooses to leave it put away."
"She stares out of 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."
Sad as this story sounds, it describes what has become a typical family time in the smartphone age.
Today, it is common to see groups of people sitting together and completely ignoring each other to give maximum attention to their phones.
Real interactions with people have really suffered, and it's because people choose to focus on their phones.
That is what moved Pickergill to start this project.
How He Did It
For the project, Pickergill asked his friends and even complete strangers to use their phones normally as he took pictures of them. But while taking the photos he edited the phones out.
What he came up with was pretty bizarre and saddening. The photos indicate how much technology has affected our face to face human interactions.
His hope is that the photos will inspire us to put down our phones and learn to live in the present.
"Despite the obvious benefits that these advances in technology have contributed to society, the social and physical implications are slowly revealing themselves.
I'm not attempting to tell others what to do with their time, I'm just hopefully offering up a moment of realization.
I just personally need the reminder to put it down because it is an addiction."
According to Pickergill, "… personal devices are shifting behaviors while simultaneously blending into the landscape by taking form as being one with the body."
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it's time we put down our phones and gave each other more attention?
Clearly, there is a phone addiction problem in our society. And if we are not careful, things might get much worse as time goes by.