The Death Of Conversation: Photographing People Obsessed With Their Phones


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Photographer Baby Cakes Romero doesn’t have a problem with portable tech specifically, because our devices facilitate our lives, but he believes it is making people seriously dull.  He started to photograph people in company on their phones as there was a certain symmetry to them and it appealed on a visual level, but as he continued he noticed an inherent sadness to the proceedings.

According to Baby Cakes: “Before mobile phones were invented, people would have had no choice but to interact. However, that is no longer necessary as we can all now “pretend” we are doing something “important” on our devices rather than think of something to say. This is killing conversation. I believe it’s increasing social pain…”

“Most people used to use cigarettes as a social prop. Admittedly, they’re bad for your health, but at least they didn’t turn people into ‘plugged in’ bores. Together we must be strong and release ourselves from the shackles of smartphones and bring face-to-face chat back!”

What do you think about Baby Cakes’ photo series and the modern day conversation killer… the mobile phone?

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16 Comments

  1. it is so sad to see people engaged in their phone rather in a conversation with each other. The only thing worse is that there are millions more images that could have been taken. Have we lost the ability to hold a face to face conversation? It should really be called anti-social media rather than social media. It is pushing us further apart instead of bringing us closer together. Life is what happens when you’re looking at your smartphone. So look up from your phone and enjoy life!

  2. If you replaced the ‘phone with a paperback novel in most of these pictures would you then say, “These people are obsessed with reading”? I think not. It’s unfair to take a single image of someone using his or her ‘phone out of context and accuse him or her of being obsessed.

    1. I started noticing this a lot when i was in college. I would wait for class before the teacher unlocked the door and would observe people on their phones. Every time i paid attention, at least 80% would be on their phones. In one class that had 16 people, it would average around 12. On the shuttles i take to work now, i still observe this. With an average size of about 12 people on the shuttle, i haven’t seen less than 8 people on their phones. I don’t think the photographer is calling them obsessed, he is just demonstrating a cultural trend with technology. Tech keeps people connected with people but also disconnects them from people.

  3. This is all I see wherever I go. I wish I grew up (in my 20s and 30s) in a world without smart phones. I remember what it was like when people could sit for a second without their face in their phone, and I miss those days

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