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27/02/2020 The magazine by Communication Science students of the UvA

Dis/connected: A Portrayal of Today’s Digital Addiction

In this new photo column, photographer Gilda Bruno tried to capture the tangible consequences of technology dependency by looking at…


In this new photo column, photographer Gilda Bruno tried to capture the tangible consequences of technology dependency by looking at how this affects everyday interactions in public spaces.

Whether it be at a metro station, or right in the middle of Amsterdam, people often appear disconnected from their surroundings: thus, unable to grasp anything besides the blue light of their own smartphones. Inspired by the observations made on her daily commute to work, Gilda aims at emphasizing the dangerous side of the XXIst century’s digitalized world in an attempt to shed light on the need for more human interplay.

In the following paragraphs, she reflects upon this phenomenon through an extract of something she wrote about a year ago.

Have you ever felt out of place? Misunderstood, put aside, or simply disconnected from the others? Like a bull in a China shop, or a fish out of water. I bet everybody feels that way, sooner or later, at least once in his life. We live in a world inhabited by approximately 7.688.968.500 people, a number that increases at the speed of our heartbeat, without respite. Crazy, isn’t it? Who would expect so many of us could breathe the same air, rejoice at the sight of such vivid colors, and wake up with the noise of the rain, beating on the windows? Yet, it’s so easy to get lost, so immediate to feel like if we don’t belong.

How can that happen? Some might wonder. When I look around, it’s impossible not to notice the strong impact that routine has on our life nowadays.

We all are… busy. Too busy to even realize what surrounds us: we’ve “built” ourselves a bubble capable of dividing us from the rest, a comfort zone where daily habits and technology set the rules of the game, filtering our perception of reality.

We are… perfectionist. School, work, family, social life: those all seem priorities to us. Nothing should be neglected, nor postponed: that would go against our expectations. But who says that’s what we actually need, what we really should be aiming for?

To see the world from a myriad of different perspectives, without ever getting tired of it. To keep our eyes wide open, wondering what sort of stories we might – today – become the protagonists of. To persist in the search for what there’s still left to learn; in that sense of amazement given by the precarious, fragile beauty that characterizes our days.

Only by doing so, we will not get lost. Only in that way, we will feel that we belong somewhere… and that place is nature.

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