It’s a common sight these days – people entranced by electronic gadgets to the exclusion of all that’s going on around them. Whether a business person feverishly checking his/her blackberry or kids texting with distant friends, it seems these electronics that are meant to connect us, are at the same time distracting and disconnecting us from our immediate surroundings.
Evan Baden has a striking gallery of photos that examines this issue. He shows children all sharing a common look of, in essence, losing themselves in their devices.
Baden explains his project:
In Westernized cultures today, there is a generation that is growing up without the knowledge of what it is to be disconnected. The world in which we are growing up is always on. We are continuously plugged in, and linked up. We take this technology for granted. Not because we are ungrateful, but because we simply don’t know a world without it.
From our earliest memories, there has always been a way to connect with others, whether it is Myspace, Facebook, cell phones, e-mail, or instant messenger. And now, with the Internet, instant messaging, and e-mail in our pocket, right there with our phones, we can always feel as if we are part of a greater whole. These devices grace us with the ability to instantly connect to others, and at the same time, they isolate us from those with whom we are connected. They allow for great freedom, yet so often, we are chained to them. They have become part of who we are and how we identify ourselves. These devices ordain us with a wealth of knowledge and communication that would have been unbelievable a generation ago. More and more, we are bathed in a silent, soft, and heavenly blue glow. It is as if we carry divinity in our pockets and purses.