In this day and age, social skills are not to be taken for granted. And when I say "social skills" I mean live, person-to-person interaction that requires actual eye contact and communication that happens more than 140 characters at a time and does not involve emotocons.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see people falling into the digital black hole. It's not an infrequent occurrence, you find it every time you see people seated at a table—their eyes glazed over and their noses pressed to their smartphone screens—completely ignoring the other people around them. You see it when someone is so busy mucking around on their phone as they walk down the street that they keep nearly walking into people. It happens every time someone interrupts a conversation because they want to check out something on Twitter. It's seen whenever someone is so busy yapping away as they wait in line or even stand at a counter that complete strangers know way, way too much about their love lives and they can't even do what they came in for. Basically they are all examples of people letting everyone else know they are not as important or valued as whatever is happening on their glowing screens.
Apparently, I'm not alone on my soapbox.
Atlanta-based photographer Zack Arias has come up with his #de_VICE series—a collection of images illustrating our culture's obsession with everything digital. Check out a selection of the series at CNN.com.