Over the years, I’ve talked – hypocritically, given my gadget addiction – about societies obsession with technology.
How something that was created to serve us now rules us.
How we are all junkies to the power of the screen …
When I was younger, I used to see office workers standing outside their offices, huddled around ashtrays, smoking on their cigarettes. Now, they are huddled around their smartphone … getting their fix through twitter, snapchat or tinder.
There’s a bunch of reasons for why this might be the case.
And no, I’m not talking about cigarettes being a filthy, dangerous habit – even though they are.
I’m talking about issues like social dissatisfaction … unemployment … the need to belong … loss of hope … the cult of celebrity.
Of course technology is also a wonderful thing – it has changed lives and industry in countless positive ways – I’m simply saying we are reaching a point where maybe we are losing sight of the brilliant things we are inadvertently giving up.
What’s frightened me is how Otis – from 5 months old – was captivated by the iPhone/iPad.
For someone who is a tech groupie, I had told Jill that I would rather we keep this stuff away from him – and we did – only for him to see them in the corners of the rooms … blinking at him, tempting him over with pictures and sounds.
The iPhone helped him crawl.
Sadly I’m not joking. He saw it on the end of our bed one day and willed himself to get to it.
The sound of accomplishment he made when he finally got his hands on it will always stay with me … both for good and bad reasons.
The other thing that has blown me away is how quickly he worked out his finger could make things move to his command on the screen.
How did he know this?
We had to develop that skill but for my son, it was natural.
You have to give Apple respect for creating a navigation system that a literal baby can use.
Fortunately he is more interested in the cover of the iPad than the iPad itself – and that’s important to me. Not just because it has been proven that overuse of smart devices actually stunts a child’s development, but because I don’t want him to spend his life with his head pointed down towards a screen, but up towards the wonders of life.
I say all this because I saw a photograph collection where the photographer had taken photos of families using smartphones and then airbrushed them out. By doing this, he highlights our obsession and over-reliance on a device that, for many, is creating a barrier to the World rather than a gateway to it. [See the photo at the top of this post]
Have a look. It’s brilliant and scary all at the same time and it might – just might – make you put whatever device you’re reading this on, down for a while.
[And let’s face it, if my writing hasn’t done that for you already, you have problems]
More info on the background to the project can be seen here.
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