2018: Time to Re-Consider our Device Addiction


2018 is shaping up to be a year in which we seriously review our relationship with smartphones. We are encouraged by recent news that institutional investors in Apple are pressing the company to consider how they design the devices, looking at ways in which design is geared at keeping us engaged with the phones and asking whether childrens’ best interests are at the forefront of their decision making.

Take a look here for a NYTimes article “It’s Time for Apple to Build a Less Addictive iPhone” and a Wall Street Journal article “iPhones and Children are a Toxic Pair, say Two Big Apple Investors”.

But there’s much that we can do at home in terms of modeling better behavior for kids. Here are some tips from Smarter Living about holding our necks in better positions and working on eye contact. Just like grandma used to say.

Photo by artist Eric Pickersgill from the “Removed” Project.

Removed is a series of large format black and white photographs that are of individuals performing as if they are using thier devices although thier phones and tablets have been physcially removed from thier hands moments prior to the exposure.
Removed avails performance, portraiture, and photography to question the physical utility of personal devices and the ways they influence society, relationships, and the body. The photographed scenes are derived from observations in my daily life. I ask the sitters to reenact my original observations and seconds before the exposure is made, I remove the device from the their hand. The sitter is asked to remain frozen as if they were still engaged with their device. The project is a form of intervention, calling attention to the use of devices by family members and those around me that I do not know. The making of the photograph operates as a way of disrupting the isolation I feel from strangers who barricade themselves behind their technology. This exchange creates new relationships while also asking the viewer to question their own device habits. I am excited by the way the viewer fills in the device at first look. It is as if the device has become one with the body and can be seen when not present.