What’s so important that people crossing one of Australia’s busiest intersections can’t put down their mobile phones?
We approached strangers at one of Australia’s busiest intersections and asked them to show us their screens. Surprisingly, a lot of people did.
(Warning: Some language may offend.)
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“I’m watching Lucifer on Netflix. I’m just so addicted to this show. I’ve got to go, I’ve got a meeting at 8.30.” — Moss
“I am from India. I am cabin crew with Qatar airways. My favourite place to visit is New Zealand. I love taking selfies. I always take them.” — Sonam
“It’s a message to my boyfriend. We caught the train in together and I just hopped off. It’s what I need to start the week.” — Troy
“I met a guy and we’ve just sort of had a friends with benefits dynamic and I decided last night that I was going to end it. I’m polyamorous so I don’t believe in monogamy but I do believe in having multiple relationships that are real and we all genuinely care about each other. I’m just wanting something that he can’t give me.” — Jess
“I must do treasure hunt. I’m looking for statue of giant purse. My lesson want me to find the address and take a photo of this. I’m from Vietnam. I came here two months ago.” — Paul
“We’re hunting for Pokémon. Mine is the Pokémon map of the city which shows all the PokéStops and gyms and he has got the Pokémon we’re hunting for and its location. I spend hours and hours and hours shadowing him. I have to be into it, otherwise I’ll go crazy. Otherwise there’s nothing to talk about. [I’d rather be] doing just about anything. Anything but cleaning the house.” — Thalia
“I’m asking my husband to put tights on my six-year-old daughter because it’s cold. I know, like a moron. Sometimes I ask him to pack her lunch and he’s like ‘I’m not an idiot’. I’ve spelt top wrong because I was typing while I was walking.” — Sally
“I just said to my friend that I’m a bit late to uni and then she sent back a snapchat saying ‘I’m not even going’. It’s disappeared now, but she was at home and her hair was still up and everything. I’m studying nursing. It is tough, but I reckon I can handle it. I’ve got a nephew, I change nappies, sometimes I look after mum. I like looking after people.” — Emmanuella
“My husband Dale tagged me in a post this morning to justify how much sleep he actually needs because I always tell him that he sleeps too much. He’s an Aquarius and he always says he needs seven hours of sleep during the week and extra sleep on the weekends. This post justifies that. But I just messaged him back and said that’s the collective hours of sleep you can have on the weekend, not 14 hours on Saturday and 14 hours on Sunday. He’s just avoiding chores.” — Laura
“I’m down here for a festival. I went out last night and I stayed at a friend’s and now I’m just on my way back trying to find my hotel.” — Lisa
“I am watching a funny video. I have watched it 20 times. I am here for English school and flight school at Moorabbin. My brother came to Australia too, he is also a pilot. When I finish, after eight to 10 months, I will go home to Turkey and become a first officer.” — Sefa
Hey Stranger was shot on March 26 and April 12 at the iconic crossing outside Flinders Street Station in Melbourne.
Multiple photographs were brought together to create the final photo illustration. All the individuals shown agreed to participate and allowed us to photograph their phone screens.
The idea came from our curiosity about what we are all constantly looking at on our screens as we go about our days — and what’s so damn important that keeps many of us glued to our devices even as we cross the road.