Nomophobia, as in no- mo(bile) phone-phobia, is when someone experiences anxiety and fear when they realize they are disconnected from their smartphone or device and are no longer connected with friends, family, the world, etc. Our friends are now always a tap away and go everywhere we go with our social media and constant access to the internet. Picking up a smartphone has become a compulsive behavior and many find themselves more focused on their screen than what’s happening around them. It is no wonder that a phobia has developed since it is increasingly becoming a normal and acceptable behavior to focus on smartphones whether alone or in a social setting while not completely engaging with the surrounding environment. I love the state of technology but there are addiction issues and behavior changes in society that probably won’t have truly exposed effects until years to come. This project, Using, focuses on this behavior.
Using, is a statement-based concept that focuses on smartphone usage on the streets and how we tend to get lost in them. I have captured subjects as they use their device that appear to be oblivious to their immediate surroundings. The use of extrusive time helps bring this more into focus which spotlights the behavior while adding a level of motion blur to the surrounding moving pieces in that moment. The lack of engagement that takes place when people focus more on what they hold in their hands than their immediate surroundings becomes apparent. Being this connected to our devices and not completely engaging and experiencing what is happening around us must be impacting us in a negative way on some level. While we become more engaged with our smartphones, we become more disengaged with the real life that surrounds us and the images I captured for this project visually explore this.