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    A Photographer Is Chronicling The "Death Of Conversation" Due To Smartphones

    "We are emotional beings and need human-to-human contact to feel good."

    This project is the work of Babycakes Romero, a London-based photographer.

    He told BuzzFeed News: "It was something I kept seeing over and over again as well as experiencing first hand."

    "I saw that smartphones were becoming a barrier to communication in person. I saw how people used it as a social prop to hide their awkwardness, to fill the silence, but as I continued to observe and document this modern phenomenon I felt that the devices were actually causing the awkwardness and the silence."

    "They basically allow people to withdraw rather than engage."

    "All social etiquette regarding the use of phones in company seems to have disappeared."

    "The device takes precendence over the person that is present and that felt wrong."

    "It is a form of rejection and lowers the self-worth of the person superseded for a device. I feel it also highlights a growing sense of self-absorption in people as they would rather focus on their world in their phone rather than speak to the person they are with."

    "When I noticed and photographed these people, they did not even seem present in the real world. They were 'plugged in' to a virtual world of their own making."

    "I have nothing against technology at all but I feel it is starting to affect social cohesion, and we need to know when to switch it off or we will become permanently switched off from each other. The strange and interesting phenomenon is that people are starting to derive more pleasure from their 'computer cuddles' than from their person to person interactions."

    "Personally I find online communication quite sterile and a very poor substitute for its face-to-face counterpart."

    "But you can see that a lot of people are searching more and more into the virtual world for their emotional fixes than in the real world, which is crazy."

    "They know that every single thing that arrives on their device is somehow connected to them, whereas in conversation you are not always the focus."

    "It's almost as if we are starting to become incapable of processing someone else’s life because we have become so preoccupied with our own."

    "It is also not so much about communication but about connection. It's about bonding with your fellow man and that is so much more rewarding when you are in person. We are emotional beings and need human-to-human contact to feel good."

    None of the photos have been staged.

    Romero says: "I do not take staged photographs. Ever. It is of no interest to me. I want to show the world I see not a world I wish to present. And once someone is aware of the camera the moment is gone."

    "It is also making people very very dull. Everyone is on their phones, no one is speaking."

    "If you want to look at a screen and not talk, why are you in company?"

    "I felt that if I showed people through my photographs what it looked like, maybe they would at least consider how they used it."

    "They'd question whether it is appropriate to do it at the expense of those around them and also themselves."