These Eerie Photos Show Just How Hooked We Are On Our Phones

Photographer Eric Pickersgill found strangers checking their phones, removed their devices, and snapped them staring blankly at their empty hands.

Using a large-format camera, Eric travelled the state of North Carolina finding people who were engrossed in their phones and created these haunting black-and-white photos.

“We have learned to read the expression of the body while someone is consuming a device,” says Eric. “When those signifiers are activated it is as if the device can be seen taking physical form without the object being present.”

Before starting the project, Eric was inspired when he observed a family in a cafe in Troy, NY. He noticed how disconnected they were from each other, with the father and his two daughters all using their phones, not talking. The mother didn’t have a phone and stared out of the window, with no interaction with her family. Eric wrote down the effect the scene had on him at the time:

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.”

“When I approach people to make the work they tend to smile first once they hear the concept and then they realise that it’s speaking to a larger context.” —Eric Pickersgill

Eric Pickersgill / removed.social

“They often slip into this serious space once I get behind the camera.”

Eric Pickersgill / removed.social

“Something else that I love about this work: It allows me to meet people and break that barrier with strangers.”

Eric Pickersgill / removed.social










































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Laura Gallant is a staff photographer at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
 
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