The next time you’re out at lunch, take a moment to look around and see how many people are glued to their smartphones. In our culture, we are facing an increasing epidemic of lost conversation. So much time is spent focused on our little screens that we lose the opportunities for meaningful conversation and relationship building. The phone has become a vice.

In the following short article, Zack Arias did a little project capturing people on these devices, seemingly oblivious to the world around them. Do you resemble any of these people? What are your thoughts on this? Please comment below. 


  1. Ryan Thomas

    I do my best to try not to be like these people. Its funny that he was standing right next to them taking their photo and they didn’t even notice him. I truly think it will be the demise of Western Civilization Sadly :/

  2. Madison

    I realized that I do resemble these people. I don’t want to be that person that is always on my phone. I should put my phone down more and enjoy what is going on.

  3. Alexa

    Yes, my thought is he is right we are consumed by our phones, and we don’t experience or observe our world around us

  4. NicLopez

    I probably resemble some of these photos when I’m alone and bored. Phones are major distractions today. People look to them at an awkward moment, when they could be talking with friends or somebody new, or even at inappropriate times like at church or at school. Phones are both a blessing and a curse because you can do so much through them, but at the same time you lose moments or details that you could’ve seen if you looked up.

  5. cenisha

    yes the woman in the striped shirt because she’s standing on a really busy curbside of a really busy street and not noticing a single thing. i like the photography.

  6. Matthew Devries

    I resemble the guy with the brief case. I think that its a problem that people are so buried in their phones

  7. Brianna Peralta

    I think I do especially if I’m in an awkward position I’ll stare at my phone and just play games. I like this photo series the only reason being is because it’s showing awareness. People don’t think its a big deal but in reality the technology now is basically taking over our lives and it’s amazing that one simple piece of technology can draw us away from our paths and even our dreams. All that I’m saying is people should just take something out of this and learn from it.

  8. Jackie O

    I think that I am a lot like these people and it is sad. I hope that I can grow from it and I will focus more on my surroundings. I also think that it is dangerous to be like this because like the guy said in the article, 9 out of 10 times he took the photo so close to them, they didn’t even realize he took it.

  9. madelyn

    I feel like whenever I’m with friends there is a point where we just go on our phones and not talk to each other. we almost ignore each other completely because we are so focused on our phones. maybe sometimes we should take a step back and look up from phones and actually pay attention to reality

  10. Katarina Wales

    Sadly, I feel like I can relate to these people in the photos a lot. It makes me realize we need to spend less time on our phones and more time enjoying the people and scenes around us. We tend to miss out on a lot of fun memories and exciting new things because we keep our faces buried in our screens watching the posts of other people trying to make their life more glamorous on social media. If we spend less time on our phones ignoring the people around us we could open up our lives to more fun away from the screen.


    I don’t resemble these people, generally. I tend to check my phone to see if their is any notifications, and that it. At lunch I do not go on my phone; I talk to my friends and that’s it.

  12. benjAmin hoang

    I’m not like these people… yet. I don’t really have the temptation to look at an “electronic device” in public when somebody is trying to talk to me. I don’t really care about people looking at their phones or tablets so long as somebody isn’t trying to talk to them.

  13. kendra

    honestly this is so sad in my opinion. I do spend most of my time on my phone everyday if I had to be completely honest I don’t even realize it. I think if people would consider putting down their phones for a day or even a few hours and go outside and enjoy the out doors witch is just as much fun then you’ll have more to look forward to the next day. If I’m not on my phone ill either be on an adventure or my phone died. maybe I should get out more. 🙂

  14. Ammie

    I completely agree with the whole idea that people are pretty much addicted to their phones , especially because I am one of those people. I spend so much time on my phone I completely forget the world around me . But its not always because its 2017 everyone’s on their phones its more of I’m in a social situation I don’t want to partake in so ill just go on my phone and everything will be fine rather than just awkwardly standing there. But I feel maybe sometimes people including myself should put there phones down even if its just for 10 minutes and to try and just focus on your surroundings and where you are .

  15. Katie Smith

    I believe I can be a phone addict. It is not necessarily a pleasant thing to admit. Zack’s project is very intriguing. It makes me want to change for the better. I can barely fathom how many people walk around in our world yet they are not really living in it. They are residing in an unrealistic, virtual world. It is turning our society into an anti-social group of cowards. The boundaries that have been created may never be taken down. After reading this I would love to try a week without a phone.

  16. kaleo fuller

    I can see myself sometimes looking too much and not paying attention to anything. all I had no idea how easy it is to take a picture of someone and they would not even notice. NO WONDER WHY THERE IS SO MANY STALKERS THESE DAYS

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