The question of whether we are too obsessed with our technology is a topic that everyone seems to have an opinion on. Photographer Eric Pickersgill chimes in on the debate with Removed, a collection of photographs depicting how bizarre life would look if one simply removed all electronic devices from everyday scenarios. Through this series, he aims to demonstrate the obsessive preoccupation that society has with electronics and gadgets.
Pickersgill was inspired to begin this project after being seated beside a family in a New York caf, noticing that three quarters of the members were too consumed by their smartphones to bother engaging in conversation with one another. While the photographer does acknowledge the obvious benefits that come alongside advancing technology, he maintains that we must also be aware of the social and physical implications that stem from the overuse of these devices. “This phantom limb is used as a way of signaling busyness and unapproachability, while at the same time existing as an addictive force that promotes the splitting of attention between those who are physically with you and those who are not.”
The takeaway from his collection of photographs is thus: technology is not intrinsically bad, however, problems arise when people use it at the expense of human interaction. Removed provides interesting visual commentary on the addiction we seem to have developed to our digital devices. It leads one to self-reflect and begs the question: Am I obsessed with my phone?