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Can You Spot What’s Wrong With This Photo? It Carries a Message That Everyone Should Know

Can You Spot What’s Wrong With This Photo? It Carries a Message That Everyone Should Know

We all live glued to our smartphones. We do everything on these devices, from talking to friends and making plans to catching up on the news. Some of us, including myself, even use our phones as a way to keep up with work. In fact, few of us know what happiness is if it doesn’t involve our phones.

But what would be like if we didn’t have our phones? Would we be able to see how disconnected we’ve become?

Photographer Eric Pickersgill, a photographer living and working in North Carolina, endeavored to find out. His impressive project REMOVED highlights what human interaction looks like by just removing smartphones from his pictures.

The results are astonishing. The images are stark, giving us a glimpse into our reality — that we spend more time looking at a screen than each other.

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And it got me to thinking — is my phone that important to me? What could I be doing instead of looking at it? So I tried it for a few days. It was amazing.

Here’s what I learned:

We do almost all of our communication through our phones, making real-world interactions awkward.

Sleeping_without_phones_by_Eric_Pickersgill

    We’re more interested in the instant gratification of social media than interacting with friends.

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    Friends_together_without_phones_by_Eric_Pickersgill

      We’re addicted to our phones and even on special occasions we keep the devices close.

      Just_married_without_phones_by_Eric_Pickersgill

        We’re not aware of, or present in, our surroundings, leading us to miss out on the beauty of life.

        Friends_relaxing_without_Eric_Pickersgill

          Our kids are learning how to avoid important issues rather than learning how to confront them.

          Mom_and_Daughter_without_phones_by_Eric_Pickersgill

            We spend more time looking at our smartphones than we do looking at each other.

            Couples_relaxing_without_phones_by_Eric_Pickersgill

              We’re teaching our kids that personal interactions aren’t necessary.

              Family_without_phones_by_Eric_Pickersgill

                We’re forgetting how to be bored, and we’re passing that on to the next generation.

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                Kids_without_phones_by_Eric_Pickersgill

                  The idea that smartphones are replacing most of our interactions and making boredom nearly extinct isn’t exactly new, but it is one we need to confront as a society. Even our kids are being affected, with outdoor play being replaced by games and texting they can do from the comfort of their smartphone. And this is an issue that isn’t going anywhere.

                  But all is not lost. More and more, people are taking a break from their phones to be present in their lives, and it’s leading them to make better choices in their lives. Everyone, from children to adults, is learning that happiness can be found right outside their door.

                  As for me, I now only check my phone a few times a day. I’ve disabled all social media on my device, and I’m surprised to find that I’m much happier this way. It’s also had an effect on my husband, who’s going through a smartphone detox right now.

                  So what about you? Do you think you could live without your phone? Is it possible to find happiness through conversations and activities in the real world? Let us know in the comments below and let’s start a conversation.

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                  To learn more about Eric Pickersgill and the impact his project has had, read this.

                  Featured photo credit: Couple in bed, Friends in Garage, Newlyweds on car, Friends sitting next to each other, Mother and daughter on couch, Couple on couch, Family in kitchen, Children on Couch via Collective Evolution and Eric Pickersgill

                  Featured photo credit: Ashley’s Neighbors by Eric Pickersgill via collective-evolution.com

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                  Last Updated on December 3, 2019

                  10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

                  10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

                  There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

                  Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

                  1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

                  Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

                  There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

                  Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

                  2. Pace Yourself

                  Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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                  Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

                  Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

                  3. You Can’t Please Everyone

                  “I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

                  You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

                  Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

                  4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

                  Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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                  We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

                  Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

                  5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

                  “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

                  No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

                  We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

                  6. It’s Not All About You

                  You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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                  It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

                  7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

                  No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

                  We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

                  Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

                  8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

                  That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

                  Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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                  Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

                  9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

                  Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

                  The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

                  10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

                  We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

                  When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

                  Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

                  This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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                  Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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