Four people on a bench before a sign saying "never offline." Three of them have their phones in hand.

從不離線 (Never Offline)

When I sat down to start picking images for this week, I quickly became frustrated. What’s the point? Who cares? Does the world need the 2,812,441,282nd street photo? Why spend parts of my weekend for it. (Sure, I committed to it and can be stubborn, but that isn’t necessary a motivation…)

Then I remembered this image and… it kind of grounded me again? So that’s why this week will focus on its motto, “Never offline.”

I like the image. At first it invites the usual critique. “Kids these days…” “No-one is talking to each other any more.” Stuff like that. But the image actually tells a very different story. Sure, three people have their phones in their hands, but only one is absorbed in it, an he seems honestly and actively engaged. The couple on the right is close, tender. He has certainly not forgotten her. And even the lady on the right looks out, distracted not by her phone but from using it. The image is belying the trivial impulse to pile on technology, phones, social media. So let’s dive a bit deeper the next days!

(Black and white editing. I like it more and more for images where the colors are chaotic or don’t add much. And the shiny benches add a lot of structure that otherwise would have been missed.)

Share your thoughts