Michaelena Ferraro, “A Memory Deferred”

My project centers upon the umbrella effect of cell phone use on today’s society, specifically in teenagers. Nowadays we see people so attached to their phones that they miss out on many important aspects of life and human interaction. We have grown so used to the comfort of that warm feeling of our phone in our hand, or close to our body. We almost feel out of the ordinary when we do not have it. Everyone has experienced that moment in time when we are in a room full of people, or walking somewhere in a crowd, and cannot do so without looking at our phones or simulating a phone call that that we know is not really there. Why is it that, when we feel awkward, instead of interacting with each other we look straight to our technology? I wanted to showcase how alone our technology really makes us. We think we are making connections but those technological connections do not supply us with the human interaction we actually need to be happy. We are replacing the feeling of happiness with things like social media and texting. We cannot make proper connections this way, and the goal of my project is to give us all a rude awakening in just how alone in this world we are when we rely solely on technology. 

The video documentary is a portion of the project that takes the real lives of teenagers and brings them under a microscope. It is an interview that forced subjects to really think about how much time in a day is allocated to phone use, what they are missing out on because of this, and whether they can understand that this is the equivalent of an addiction. This digital component forces viewers to take a step back and think about their own phone use: it is a social issue that is causing us to lose out on the world around us and forget what is important.

I further represent these issues in my project through photographs. I wanted to embody a sort of realist mindset, and capture a moment in time. I will capture different moments in a subject’s life where technology takes precedence over human interaction. Every picture records an opportunity to watch the world going on around the subject, yet nothing else matters except that of what is on our phones. We don’t even notice that every second we choose the adrenaline rush that our devices give us over human interaction, we are letting life pass us by bit by bit. I want each picture to showcase how disconnected we are from the world because of technology alone. We will see how much we lose while we truly think are under the impression that we are gaining. I would hope this album would serve as another realization for readers, allowing each line to cause intense thought that makes you question normal actions in your everyday life.

To view the digital content of “A Memory Deferred,” click on this hyperlink.