In the midst of my high anxiety at showing up all over the place, I haven't been posting or commenting as much. I've been faithfully reading your blogs on my phone when I fall into bed at night, but trying to comment from the small screen is tedious and iffy. If you have a Wordpress blog, after I've painstakingly tapped out the comment, it just disappears. This didn't used to happen, so I'm not sure what changed. In any case, I'm keeping up. I'll be back to posting more regularly soon, but in the meantime, here's something I ran across while swiping screens on my phone in bed last night, my husband next to me reading on his Kindle.
Photographer Eric Pickersgill, who teaches in the Fine Arts program at UNC Chapel Hill, wanted to show how disconnected people have become in everyday life, so he removed all electronic devices from this series of photos. The project, which he titled "Removed," was inspired after he saw a family sitting next to him in a cafe. Here's how he describes the scene on his website:
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. 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.
See the rest of the project here.