In a recently made short video of mine, I explore the concept of how smartphones have social impacts in everyday life. For further explanation on my ideas, read the paragraph below the image–if you would like to watch the short first, click the links or image below.

iSolation. © Eliot J Grigo 2013

iSolation from Eliot Grigo on Vimeo.

We live in a world ruled by its man-made products. The phenomenon of using a smartphone, and having it by your side all of the time, is becoming worrying. In a public setting, if someone is “old-fashioned”, doesn’t own a smartphone, or even simply looking for someone to talk to, they will notice what I mean by this phenomenon being worrying.  When everyone is dissolved into their “my-screen-is-bigger” screens, its as if everyone is alone, even though in this growing world we are surrounded by so many people.

This short film is a true story. These events did happen to me on a bus–yes–in a slightly different way but I’m also willing to bet that’s its a true story for many people. You’re waiting with a group of people for checkout, waiting in a laundromat, flying on an airplane, riding in an elevator–people tune out from you and everyone around them while they tap away at their phones. To me, its a problem, as I hope is clear in the short, where my character chooses to conform and tune out.

The sad truth of it all, is that we all still want to connect–’we never want to be alone’, as Louis C.K. puts it during an interview on Conan. My take on this is that we are not totally “tuned-out”, but just out of sync, and that causes us to become isolated. In my short there is a miscommunication between my character on a bus, and a girl that he tries to communicate directly with; they miss each other, and continue with their lives.

During iSolation when two characters on the bus (played by Eliot Grigo on the left, and Dia Matthews on the right) miss each other’s glance.

What do humans do now? Now that you can’t turn a corner without seeing someone with a slate of aluminum in their hands, what do we do? Have we integrated this technology too closely to our lives–are smartphones playing too big a role? Are they not a problem at all? Please feel free to comment on these questions. Lastly, thanks to all that helped in the creation of this video, and the irony of it all is that you’re probably reading this on your phone while surrounded by other people with phones.


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