Vancouver artist explores the impact of cellphones on our lives

Vancouver artist Anton Scamvougeras’s new book Dysconnected: Isolated By Our Mobile Devices uses images that are both profound and humorous to examine the ways in which mobile devices are impacting our lives.

Illustration from 'Dysconnected' by Anton Scamvougeras, published by AJKS Press, in Vancouver. Image courtesy Anton Scamvougeras

Do you check your cellphone before you get out of bed in the morning? If so, you’re not alone. There are now more mobile devices in the world than there are people, and more people have access to a cellphone than to a working toilet.

We’re all using them, but are we fully aware of the consequences?

Vancouver artist Anton Scamvougeras’s new book Dysconnected: Isolated By Our Mobile Devices uses images that are both profound and humorous to examine the ways in which mobile devices are impacting our lives.

“We’re all involved in a giant experiment, without having knowingly signed up for it,” Scamvougeras said.

Surfing, clicking, texting, sharing, friending, and liking have arguably taken the place of looking, seeing, listening, talking, thinking, and just plain doing nothing, hanging out, or being bored.

Are we losing the capacity for quiet solitude? Are we filling all previously empty spaces in our days with electronic ‘busy-ness’? Have online ‘friends’ taken the place of the other sort? Have second lives replaced our first? And, if any of this is the case, should it be cause for any concern?

“Smartphones can be powerful, efficient, and delightful, but research shows that they can also interfere with our ability to concentrate on a lecture, drive a car, empathize with a stranger, respond to a family member, or get a good night’s sleep,” said Scamvougeras.

“A growing number of us have a sense that there’s something potentially disturbing about the way they have so rapidly taken up such a large and central space in our lives. Dysconnected encourages us to think about the way we use our phones, and to be more mindful of how we spend our time.”

Scamvougeras surmises that, in the future, the happiest, most content and satisfied people will be those of us who learn to best manage our relationships with our technological devices.

This may sound a little odd. Shouldn’t our cellphones serve us, rather than the other way round?

“The point is that there are so many intriguing things we can do with cellphones that they seduce us into becoming compulsively attached. So, yes, we do have to ‘manage our relationships with our devices.’”

Anton Scamvougeras is a Vancouver physician and artist. He uses his cellphone at least a dozen times a day.

Dysconnected: Isolated By Our Mobile Devices Anton Scamvougeras
ISBN 9780995205604 / 160 pages / $19.95 Publication Date: September 2, 2016

Published and printed in Canada by AJKS Press, Vancouver

Dysconnected is available in bookstores and online at dysconnected.com

Distributed to the trade by Sandhill Book Marketing Ltd. sandhillbooks.com

 

More in News

Vancouver's bicycle sharing grows as 15 new stations installed

Mobi bicycle by Shaw Go in Vancouver. Photo by Christopher Porter from Flickr Creative Commons

International Women's Day Concert celebrates female musicians who turned tragedy into triumph

Every March 8, on International Women's Day, we hear about the achievements of brilliant, talented women around the world. But how often do we learn about the physical and mental disabilities or...

Deputy Provincial Health Office and Vancouver Police Sergeant Call Addiction a Health Problem, not a Criminal One

An evening panel focused on addressing the opioid overdose crisis: a public health disaster that saw almost 1,500 deaths provincially in 2017.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.