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Cybernation

Don’t get set into one form,

adapt it and build your own,

and let it grow, be like water.

Empty your mind,

be formless, shapeless – like water.

Cybernation

Subject: Electronic Addiction

When: 2012

Where: New York, Washington, Virginia

It is an iPhoneography project in regards of Electronic Addiction. As technology becomes ubiquitous in our work and private lives, understanding how we interact with it is increasingly important. Addiction disorders connected to people’s interactions with their electronic devices, games, the internet and social media are emerging as a major concern of our time.

This particular project was developed during my Magnum Foundation fellowship in university of New York. I have tried to see and reflect this human reality discontenting through the electronic device; in particular my iPhone. In other words I have tried to engage the same element as I was going after. I was trying to expose the drug addiction through the point of view of a needle. So started the journey through the less illuminated road and the result is what you see. I have worked this project under mentorship of Susan Meiselas, Magnum Photographer and founder of the magnum foundation.

For me the result was more important than the medium, as by that time (2012) there was quite a  resistance towards using phone as a  tool. I have kept whispering Bruce Lee speech to myself through this experience. “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

It is argued that interpersonal difficulties such as introversion, social problems, and poor face-to-face communication skills, are result of the electronic addiction or vise versa. Regardless of whether electronic addiction is codified within a psychopathological framework, it is fair to say that there is, at the least, the potential for a problem. Key components of addiction include preoccupation with the substance or behavior; repeated unsuccessful attempts to reduce it; mood disturbances related to reduction attempts; greater usage than anticipated or desired; jeopardizing employment, relationships or education; or lying about usage. All of these criteria, at least theoretically, can be seen with electronic usage.

According to NYU professor Adam Alter, the average millennial picks up their smartphone 150 times a day. In his book Irresistible, Dr. Alter writes about technology addiction, suggesting that 40 percent of people have some kind of internet-based addiction, be that to social media, pornography or email (which the average worker checks 36 times an hour).