Removed

I’m guilty of it. I bet you’re guilty of it too. In fact, I’m doing it right now. 

There’s no doubt that our phones have become this century’s biggest accessory. While we often associate this addiction to technology with the younger generation, I actually think the older generation is just as guilty.

In a series of photographs by US photographer, Eric Pickersgill, aptly titled, “Removed”, he aims to highlight just how odd – and damaging – our poses are when we’re holding our phones. Not only that, but how lonely we look when our phones or tablets are no longer in our hands. Removed before the photos were taken, Pickersgill wants to underline what we are missing out on when our heads are down – conversation, family, friends, moments, beautiful surroundings.

Photo credit: Instagram: @ericpickersgill

The photographs show couples on a sofa, faces lit up, busy scrolling with their attention on their device rather than on each other. Parents with their children, both solely occupied on either a phone or a tablet. Friends at dinner tables, not talking but concentrating on what would be down in front of them.

Whilst this series of photographs won’t stop us from using our phones – I don’t think this is Pickersgill intention – it is enough to make you think. To realise what we all must look like as we’re busy tapping away, ignoring those around us and missing the moments that really count.

The trouble is, we rely on our phones too much. It’s not just about social media, but perhaps running a small business, planning a wedding, reading the news, speaking with friends not here but abroad, booking a holiday or reading a book. They are useful, engrossing, a way to communicate, an endless vial of information, or potential key to success.

Photo credit: Instagram: @ericpickersgill

I think, in seeing Pickersgill’s candid photos, it’s just taught me to be more conscious and aware of how and when I’m using my phone. I always think when I go to a concert – why are so many people filming it? Surely, it’s better to simply watch, sing along and make the most of why you’re there in the first place. Surely, it’s better to simply enjoy it?

While there are undeniable benefits in these astounding advances in technology, sometimes, it’s important to remember what life was like before we used our mobile phones so intently. I’m not saying we would be better off without them, but I bet you’ll find you have so much more time on your hands when you make a conscious effort to put it down now and again. It’s certainly something I’m going to be more aware of.