People not talking to each other

By Paul Kerley
BBC News Magazine


"Smartphones have made everyone seriously dull" claims the man who took this series of intriguing images. The street photographer - who goes by the name of Babycakes Romero - calls the set the Death of Conversation.

He describes how traditional social etiquette regarding the use of phones in company seems to have disappeared.

His images are snapshots - tiny moments in time - and he could not have known precisely why those featured were gazing at their screens.

See some of the images below - or click to see more, and hear his personal observations as to why people are so keen to jump into a virtual world of "computer cuddles".

Babycakes Romero says social situations like weddings - where people sit down and eat, often with total strangers - can be awkward.

In the past, guests had to work at smalltalk - and by the end of an evening might have made new friends.

But now smartphones allow people to momentarily opt out.

Image source, Babycakes Romero

Romero says he passes people on the street who don't seem present in the real world - they are "plugged in" instead.

Image source, Copyright: Babycakes Romero

He says someone will usually make a break and go for their phone first. And the older generation can be just as bad as the young.

Image source, Copyright: Babycakes Romero

The smartphone is, says Romero, an excuse to withdraw. No offence may be intended, but the lure of a "computer cuddle" is irresistible.

Image source, Copyright: Babycakes Romero

All images subject to copyright - Babycakes Romero.

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