lifestyle

This will make you want to turn your phone off immediately.

Look up. Just look up.

I’m the first to admit I’m addicted to technology. Without my phone I feel lost, sick, anxious. But when I’m in social situations and I feel myself grasping for it under the dinner table, I feel embarrassed. It doesn’t stop me though, and I bet you’re the same.

Welcome to Mamamia’s art endeavour, the Voulez-Vous Project. Every week we celebrate emerging artists, designers, illustrators, creators and women who knit using their vaginas. (Kidding. Maybe.) Our aim: to help the internet become a slightly more beautiful, captivating, or thought-provoking place by making art accessible.

To find out more about the Voulez-Vous project, click here. Click here to see all the previous Voulez-Vous posts.

When people have, on occassion, called me out on my behaviour, I’m shocked at how rude I’m being. Out to work drinks? We’re all scrolling through Instagram. At a wedding? We’re hashtagging and uploading. In a meeting? Just a quick game of Angry Birds. It never stops.

But there’s a very good reason you should put down your phone and start reconnecting with the world.

Photographer Babycakes Romero has created a series that captures these moments where people are disconnected with reality and lost in the technological world.

“There’s a very good reason you should put down your phone and start reconnecting with the world.”

And yes, it’s depressing to see it laid out in black and white.

You might say it’s hypocritical for Romero to photograph this when he probably does the exact same. But he says he doesn’t even own a smartphone.

Related: Before and After: Photos of gender reassignment surgery.

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“As a person dedicated to observation, I just feel I would be missing too much of the world around me if I was staring into the palm of my hand the whole time,” he said.

As for his reasons behind the project, Romero told Mashable he identified technology as a prop that people hide behind.

“I saw that smartphones were becoming a barrier to communication in person. I saw how people used it as a social prop, to hide their awkwardness, to fill the silence … they basically allow people to withdraw rather than engage.

“[These people] do not even seem present in the real world. They are ‘plugged in’ to a virtual world of their own making.”

“[These people] do not even seem present in the real world. They are ‘plugged in’ to a virtual world of their own making.”

Related: Cats dressed exactly like their owners must be a part of your life immediately.

“Maybe [people] would at least consider how they used their smartphones and question whether it is appropriate to do it at the expense of those around them and also themselves.”

Click through the gallery below to see the complete series. 

Babycakes Romero is a street photographer from London dedicated to documenting the world around him. You can visit his website by clicking here, his Twitter here and his Instagram here.

Do you know an artist (or are YOU an artist) who creates beautiful or thought-provoking work and whom you think should be featured on Mamamia’s Voulez-Vous Project? Send an email to [email protected]

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