This installation was my graduation project from the master Industrial design at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. It was shown at the graduation festival from
I researched the effects of ‘Technological sadness’ in my surroundings. Technological Sadness is a new emotion that appeared when we started using social technologies to communicate, which describes the negative effects of smartphones and what effect social media has on our everyday emotions. I focused mainly on the Instagram platform, and my research uncovered how dependent we have become on it and the negative effects we are experiencing through oversharing our lives on social media platforms. I wanted to create work that would show the dangers of the online lives we are living. Through experiments and interviews, I discovered that capturing moments with our mobile devices is very important to us, as most digital natives are using them to create memories and share our experiences with others. We are starting to use our phones as digital diaries, by for example using the function stories that tempts users to post 24/7. During my research, I found out about ‘The photo impairment effect’, that describes how the more photos and videos we take with our smartphones the less we remember. The problem is that our phone is becoming our external memory and we are offloading our own memories onto the device. This news was so thought-provoking that I thought it was a story that needed to be told. The obsession of capturing everything around us pulls us out of the experience and we are forgetting to live in the now, we are trying to hold on to moments that are lost. I started to address this theory by creating an interactive installation, a unique photo booth. In this booth, the visitor is confronted with moments that are lost through our extreme use of smartphone photography. My goal is to demonstrate the urgency of this phenomenon. The amount of photos people are taking every day is getting out of hand. We are overexposing our lives, and as a result, losing the impact of memories. In the installation an interactive photo is taken with a smartphone and afterwards, the story of ‘The photo impairment effect' is told. When the visitor leaves they receive a printed photo, but once they get home it would slowly disappear. Soit becomes an experience with a memory not to be forgotten.