We Asked People to Show Us the Last Photo They Took on Their Phone

FYI.

This story is over 5 years old.

Stuff

We Asked People to Show Us the Last Photo They Took on Their Phone

"It's called Pepito, which means 'little willy' in Italian."

Every week we ask our interns to go out and vox-pop people about current affairs, to gauge how the general public thinks about the world. If you've never vox-popped someone, imagine approaching a stranger who is clearly busy and/or on their way somewhere, and asking them to talk to you for an unspecified amount of time about something they might know nothing about. It's that.

Because that's not already uncomfortable enough, this week we asked them to approach strangers and ask if they would show them the last photo they took on their phone.

Annons

VICE: Can I look at the last picture on your phone?
Roya, 21: Sure. I hope it's not a nude.

It's not a nude! Take me through it.
My brother got the budgie for his Italian flatmate a month or two ago. It's called Pepito, which means "little willy" in Italian. Pepito was really depressed and was pulling at its feathers, and it wouldn't come out of its cage. It was just really depressed and was squawking. It's got a mirror in there and it sees its reflection; it sees itself and it hates itself. It starts pecking at its own reflection. It's a really depressed budgie. Since we took this photo, it's stopped being angry and it comes out and plays!

Do you have loads of animal pics on your phone?
No, just the one! We've never had a pet before. This is the first pet me and my brother properly have. I did have two hamsters, Ickle and Pickle. One died of liver problems and the other one died of a broken heart when the first one died. I don't have any photos of them. RIP.

Did you put this one on Instagram? It looks a bit filtered.
Yeah, and it got 31 likes. Not bad. It's not the highest. I've got 68 for a selfie before.

What's the last photo on your phone?
Sanna, 23: It's a piece of art done by a friend who doesn't actually realise how great she is. She does a lot of Afro-inspired artwork; she draws warriors, she does a lot of female-focused art. We were hanging out and I saw it on her phone. I was like, "Oh man, that's really nice," and she was like, "Yeah, you can have that – it's nothing." I hope she realises that she's really talented. Not everyone can come up with this that quick. She does it so quick and has like a million [other] pieces.

Annons

Did you share it online?
It did well on Snapchat. A lot of people actually sent me messages saying it was really nice. I'll be putting it on Instagram, too. I think it'll do great.

What kind of other photos would we find on your phone?
Not just necessarily a drawing or painting, but music and poetry, that kind of stuff. I probably have a couple more pieces she's done.

Thanks, Sanna!

Can I have a look at the last photo on your phone?
Luke, 26: That's me and my cousin. I don't even know where that is. That was last night, getting absolutely hammered, by the looks of things.

Take me through it.
We're both recently out of relationships, and he introduced me to his mate, and me and his mate are now dating. On the same day I met his mate, he met a boy and they went on a date and hooked up. And since then he hasn't called. I was going to go to the gym last night, but I got a last minute phone call, basically saying can I go out with him instead to drown his sorrows. We were going for one and we met at 5:30PM. This is 20 to 10PM, so I don't remember that. I don't remember getting home to be honest.

Did you upload it on Instagram?
I didn't, not that one. I'm so blurry-eyed – that's not a good look!

Are there lots of photos of you getting hammered on your phone?
Some of them quite sensible. Most are with friends, loads of selfies – also Pokemon Go, as that's obviously really important. Also me and the guy that I'm dating.

Annons

Nice. Thanks, Luke.

Can I look at the last picture on your phone?
Lauren, 20: It's literally a selfie in the bathroom. We were at our local pub, where my housemate works as a chef. They had a movie night on, so it was The Big Lebowski. I went with my boyfriend and I was pretty bored, so I just decided to slip out. I went to the bathroom, had a little selfie. Then I went downstairs and talked to my friends for a sec and kind of disappeared for 20 mins, half an hour, and left him. I came back up and went back for the cuddles.

Perfect. Do you take loads of selfies?
No, not really. Do you know what? I'm a model… there's enough pictures of me going around! That one did not end up on Instagram. Not many selfies end up on Instagram; it's mainly pictures people have taken off me. Sometimes, with selfies, I find the vanity thing plays on my mind a little bit. I don't want people to receive an image of me that's, like, self-consumed. I don't think that reflects the real me. I don't want people to scroll down and see a hundred pictures of myself that I've taken. I find it strange sometimes; I find that you can easily pass judgment.

What kind of photos would we find on your phone then?
Fashion, mainly. I do fashion art – I love that. I found that, when I was younger, I used to selfie stash a lot more; maybe an evening of selfies. Now I'm older, that's quite rare. I don't take one day-to-day. I try to detox from selfies a little bit. Technology changes my everyday life; it's impacting my actual activities and my relationship.

Annons

Me and my boyfriend are constantly on our phones when we could be spending time together. We are physically together, but we're both on our phones so we're mentally in a different headspace. I find it so encroaching. I feel that taking a break is healthy for your mental health.

You're probably not wrong. Thanks, Lauren.

What's last picture on your phone?
Dami, 23: It's the Guanyin Bodhisattva – basically the high priestess in Buddhism. What she actually does is be a peacemaker. You know Buddhism, you have to live in peace and you have to be at one with yourself and all that kind of stuff. What she actually does is a symbol of that: being able to infuse peace and love. But she's also a fighter generally.

How did it end up on your phone?
I grabbed it from Google. She's a symbol of peace. Being able to look at it and remember the reasons why you need to be at peace. I'm at one with myself; I'm naturally just zen. When you're zen, it's just being able to have that peace of mind with whatever you're doing.

Give me an example.
So let's say you just recently broke up with your ex. Let's say it wasn't amicable. What you'd do is come into yourself and you'll sort that out internally. I wouldn't say put on a face, but that's kind of what you'd do as it's emotional. [If you're zen], what you'd do is throw it outwards and say, "It is what it has to be."

What other things would we see if we scrolled through your phone?
Random photos. A lot of selfies.

Annons

Nudes?
Nah, none of them. But you would see a lot of personal things. Some things that are able to give me that little drive during the day.

Take me through the last photo saved on your phone
Guy, 32: I started my own sports nutrition company and we were the sponsors of the London triathlon that happened last weekend. So we were handing our energy and recovery bars to everyone who finished the triathlon. That's a picture of our stand as we were handing it out.

Is that the kind of stuff we'd see on your phone then? Work stuff? Are you secretly boring?
You probably could argue that! The company's just eight months old, so it's pretty much my life at the moment. I do spend a lot of time on it.

Did you upload it to Instagram?
Yeah, we got about 200 likes.

Oh wow. Cool, thanks Guy.

What kind of things would we expect to see on your phone?
Louis, 28: Well, this is the new office space. I'm not designing it; it's being designed for me. Very exciting. I'm the Managing Director of a creative agency. We're a pretty small team – it's going to be a shared working space.

Okay. What kind of pics would we find on your Snapchat then?
This is my work phone, so, to be fair, my personal phone would be a little more exciting. Nights out, receptions I'm waiting in, nice dinners, exciting moments. Things like that.

Would you say you're a man who likes the finer things in life?
I would say so. Being a Managing Director means I have to look the part, so I do spend a lot of money on suits. I'm due to buy a watch very soon. My everyday Cassio isn't very MD-worthy, I don't think, so I'm going to upgrade. If my wallet permits, maybe a Cartier watch.

Annons

Talk me through the last photo on your phone.
Louise, 24: This is a picture of a stack of burgers and a stack of doughnuts we got for my mate's birthday. We thought cake would be a bit boring.

Why a burger cake rather than a proper cake?
She's obsessed with burgers. If we go to McDonalds she'll order at least three burgers and eat them in a row.

So it's like an ode to her burger obsession?
Exactly. We got her some dance lessons because she really likes dancing and eating burgers.

Great combo. Would we find many other food photos on your phone?
Definitely. Pictures of places I've been to eat. I recently went to a restaurant where you dip your burger into gravy.

Sounds good. Cheers!

@its_me_salma

More on VICE:

Why Cocaine Turns People Into Dickheads, a Simple Explanation

We Got Some of Our Ex-Boyfriends and Girlfriends to Review Us as Lovers

How to Win Every Game Ever Created, According to the Experts