The Death of Conversation Photos Highlight Our Smartphone Dependency

Photos by Babycakes Romero.

Before I got my first iPhone (January 2011), I would never be on my phone. Sure, I’d get the occasional text message and call, and I would get subscribed tweets to my phone every once in awhile, but I never truly considered it to be a vital part of my daily life. When I upgraded to the iPhone 3GS, my life changed. All of a sudden, I had the internet at my disposal, and instead of simply waiting until I got home from work to fall into the dreaded Wikipedia black hole, I’d just do so on my commute to work, during downtime, and on the commute back. The near-four years since haven’t changed much, with work emails constantly coming in, social media needing to be attended to, and meeting reminders. In saying that, I’ve made a conscious effort to pull away from my phone when I’m around certain company, and with my iPhone 4S on its last legs, I try not to be on it as much as possible while I’m out and about.

Babycakes Romero, a street photographer based in London, has turned to the rise of smartphone dependency (and the fall of personal communication) with his latest photo series, The Death of Conversation. In his photos, he captures groups of people not interacting directly with one another, but instead face down to their phones. As Romero puts it himself:

I 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 I continued I noticed an inherent sadness to the proceedings.

Indeed, the inherent sadness captured in the photos are buoyed by Romero’s decision to filter the photos to black and white, creating a grim tone throughout the photos. As smartphones grow smarter, our reliance on them as a tool to make it through the day and not direct, personal social interaction really could mean the death of conversation as we once knew it. Check out some of my favorite photos from the set below, and find more on his Bored Panda post.

[via Bored Panda]

Geoff Henao

Geoff Henao is a writer/kinda photographer affiliated with the Chicago collective LOD. His interests include film, punk rock, cute girls, graphic novels, video games, and the Chicago Bulls. He's funny sometimes.

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