This is What Life Looks Like Without a Smartphone

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1This is What Life Looks Like Without a Smartphone

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What’s the chance that you’re reading this on your phone? Are you sitting with friends or family? Maybe at a bar or a restaurant? Are you on your lunch break at work? Don’t freak out. We’re not watching you through your computer. We know because we’re doing exactly the same thing.

In a world in which most of us are addicted to our smartphones and tablets and communicate mostly via text message, it’s hard to look up sometimes. But if you do managed to extract yourself from your screen and look around, you’ll most likely find people buried in their electronic devices.

New York based photographer Eric Pickersgill created a spectacular series of photos he calls “Removed” where he shows a wide range of everyday situations with one little modification. In each photo, Pickersgill has removed the cellphones from the picture. The result is a collection of surrealistic and almost creepy shots that show just how buried we are in our mobile phones and just how obsolete face-to-face communication has become.

The brilliant idea for the photo series popped into Eric’s mind while he was sitting in a cafe in New York and saw a family sitting at the next table and the father and two daughters were embedded in their phones. “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.

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“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.”

In order to take the photos, the photographer placed cameras in a range of standard, every-day situations and asked his subjects to pretend that they had their phones in their hands. The result will give you shivers.

We’ve collected a few of the most powerful images from the photo project. You’re welcome to check out the rest of Pickersgill’s work (link at the end of the post).

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