A World Transfixed by Screens

The continued massive growth of connected mobile devices is shaping not only how we communicate with each other, but how we look, behave, and experience the world around us. Smartphones and other handheld devices have become indispensable tools, appendages held at arm's length to record a scene or to snap a selfie. Recent news photos show refugees fleeing war-torn regions holding up their phones as prized possessions to be saved, and relatives of victims lost to a disaster holding up their smartphones to show images of their loved ones to the press. Celebrity selfies, people alone in a crowd with their phones, events obscured by the very devices used to record that event, the brightly lit faces of those bent over their small screens, these are some of the scenes depicted below. [Editor's note, this photo essay was previously published here earlier this year.]

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Marco Ugarte / AP

    Animals in the News

    Time again for a look at the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless species that share our planet

  • Jason Weingart / Barcroft Media via Getty

    Nebraska: Images of the Cornhusker State

    A few glimpses of the landscape of Nebraska, and some of the animals and people calling it home

  • Chris Hyde / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Tinside Lido, Log Climber, Dragon Temple

    The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, wildfire damage in Oregon, flooding in Florida from Hurricane Sally, continued protests in Belarus, smoky skies over Seattle, and much more

  • Marco Bertorello / AFP / Getty

    Scenes From the 2020 Tour de France

    Images from the first 17 stages of this year’s Tour de France cycling race