Clever ads show how smartphone obsession hurts those around us

According to researchers, the average person is so engrossed in their smart device that they can no longer accurately read how people are feeling. Those same people also have such an obsession with their devices that they’ve forgotten how to properly interact with people in real-life. In fact, many people today have what’s called Nomophobia; it’s a condition where they must have their phones on them at all times or they freak out. 

Unfortunately, you can’t learn non-verbal emotional cues from a screen. If you’re not actually interacting with real people face-to-face, you could be losing important social skills. This is where Shanghai-based creative Shiyang He comes in.

The print campaign, created at Ogilvy & Mather China for the Center for Psychological Research, Shenyang, is a literal representation of the barriers to human relationships that screen addiction creates. The campaign drives a powerful message about our obsession. The clever tagline for the ads reads: “The more you connect, the less you connect.”

“Pulling out a phone during a conversation is like erecting a brick wall between two people,” says Juggi Ramakrishnan, Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai.

Phone Wall

Phone Wall: How smartphone obsession hurts those around us Phone Wall: How smartphone obsession hurts those around us Phone Wall: How smartphone obsession hurts those around us

Screen addiction is a growing issue in China. Smartphones and social media seem to permeate all aspects of everyday life in China—from shopping to business to social interactions. Ultimately, this campaign is meant to spark conversations about smartphone addiction. It’s also to get them to put down their devices when they’re with other people; be it their children, their friends or their partners.

“The people in our lives should get priority over devices.”

What are your thoughts on this ad campaign? Is this how you feel when someone else’s smartphone obsession blocks your social interactions?

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