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Image by Eric Pickersgill

Bored Panda reported on American photographer Eric Pickersgill who “photoshopped away the smartphones and digital devices from his portraits of everyday life. The project “Removed” aims to show our addiction to modern technology, social media, and hyper-connectivity. Pickersgill knows that he’s also amongst the addicted.”

The photographer was inspired by a chance encounter in a New York cafe:

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 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.

“[Pickersgill] achieved the surreal effect in his photography art by asking strangers and friends to remain in position, taking the shot and then removing the devices in final photoshopped pictures” (Dainius).

Image by Eric Pickersgill

Posture of a New Age?

As I wrote in “Posture of a New Age?“,

This physical pose betrays a relational posture tending to isolate and alienate itself to the enclosure of technology.

In “Social Media and the Soul“, I wrote,

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, a computer scientist, or a social scientist to know something’s going on in our society that we have never faced before. But it has taken some insiders from social media technologies to confirm what researchers are beginning to find, and what families have already found – sometimes too late.

What will it take for us to see the problem, and then reverse the tide of technological contamination in our relationships? We’ve adapted; this much is true of our species. But we’ve maladapted too; this is equally true of us.

Love in a Time of Technology

Image by Eric Pickersgill

In a few short decades, we have let technology create a psychic distance the oceans could not fathom. We hardly knew we were letting devices into the most intimate parts of our lives, and interfering with the most common aspect of being human: relating to another person, face to face, attending, listening, and responding.

As you look at these images, what is missing? I don’t mean what is missing from the hands of the people – I mean what else is missing between the people? What do you observe, and what have noticed about the ways you have adapted/maladapted to technology?

What insight do you have on being a relational person?


For more of the images see: “Removed: Photographer Removes Phones from His Photos to show how terribly addicted we’ve become.”