Powerful images showing how addicted we are to our mobile devices
How addicted are we to our phones and tablets?
More than we think.
In 2013, Tomi Ahonen shared research which showed that we check our phone in access of 150 times per day. Since then this figure has been updated to over 221 times per day. So this means that “for every waking hour, we glance at our phone on average once every 4.3 minutes of every day. The same survey also found that the average UK smartphone user looks at their phone for 3 hours per day – thats 18.8% of total waking hours we now have our eyes on the small screen.”
Once every 4.3 minutes of the day is indeed a horrific statistic. However it doesn’t really translate into “real-world” activities and hard t relate to what this actually means.
When researching this topic for a consultation I was presenting to a client, I wanted to find a visual way to represent this so that it hits home. I found one in the form of photographer Eric Pickersgill.
Eric has created a set of photographs which he titled “Removed” in which Eric showed everyday people in everyday situations but without their mobile phone and without their tablets in hand.
What was frightening was the inspiration behind this project:
The work began as I sat in a café’ one morning. This is what I wrote about my observation:
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. 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. I see this family at the grocery store, in classrooms, on the side of the highway and in my own bed as I fall asleep next to my wife. We rest back to back on our sides coddling our small, cold, illuminated devices every night.
Sadly this is a scene most of us can relate to and when you see the images, this really hits the message home. Any of these look familiar ?
Of course all photo-credit goes to Eric’s project and click on the link to check out the entire series and more of Eric’s work.