A Vivid Reminder That Technology Can Enslave Us All

Every morning you wake up, your hand scrabbling for the smartphone on the bedside table. Is there email, a tweet, a like on Instagram? You're a slave to the phone, desperate for its digital hit.

Update: This post originally stated that the above was an image by Banksy; it is not. It was uploaded to a Banksy fan account on Twitter.

Everyone does it, so how wrong can it be? Honestly, just like our very own Jesus Diaz pointed out last year, pretty wrong. Technology is wonderful sure: it can make our lives more efficient, allow unprecedented levels of communication, and expand our horizons.

But its draw can be too much. It can suck us in, take over our lives, turn us into simpering, whimpering, Facebook-loving wrecks. You don't need to check your email as soon as you wake up; you don't need to see if someone favorited your tweet as you go to bed. Of course you don't. But you do, you can't help it.

Banksy's not shy of bringing together technological and social commentary, and his latest effort—really just a simple sketch that he posted to Twitter—is a stark reminder that our technology is increasingly an extension of us. A reminder that, sometimes, we rely on it too much.

But it needn't be that way. To borrow Jesus's words for a moment:

Perhaps we should just try be a bit more sensible about it—as with any other addictive substance. I like a good whisky, but I don't have to drink three bottles of it every day. I can do the same with phones and tablets and computers: Play more Lego. Play more piano. Go outside. Don't use the phone at all while I'm with others. Read. Walk. Go to the movies. Create something with my own hands. Get real.

So here's to getting real. [Twitter]