Our generation has grown up hand-in-hand with technology, and sometimes its hard to escape it.
UK-based photographer Ben McMahon is interested in people’s obsession with their electronic devices and catalogues it in his bitterly true new series “’Smart’Phones.” The series holds a mirror up to society, allowing us to see ourselves from a brutally honest vantage point.
Portable electronic devices have come to dominate all aspects of our social sphere. “I noticed the people on the table next to me were sitting having a lovely meal together, but were all on their phones. I found it bizarre that people would go to that much effort to meet up and then basically ignore each other,” McMahon told Another Magazine. Soon afterward, he began noticing this trend everywhere, and “’Smart’Phones” was born.
But far from criticizing people atop his high horse, McMahon considers himself “as guilty as anyone” in terms of addiction to technology. While phones need not be seen as an unequivocal social negative, McMahon believes it’s a problem when people seem unable to hold basic conversation without checking for updates, or when they spend private, intimate moments with loved ones enrapture by screens. These types of observations reminded McMhaon of a J. B. Pirestley quote: “The more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.”
McMahon’s images certainly seem to prove this insight correct.