It's this part of our society that manifests at weddings in an ugly way, and it's something I've commented on before a little.
A fellow local photographer recently posted a photo to a private online community depicting a bride being walked down the aisle, faced down by smartphones and small cameras being held by almost every visible guest. It was staggering. This wasn't a satirical commentary, it was a real wedding. I've been lucky and haven't seen this hardly at all this year, which may be why it shocked me so much.
I don't think it hurts to take some of your own photos when you're a guest at a wedding, if you are discreet.
But what does hurt is when everyone does it the whole time while standing in the aisle and gets in the professional's way, preventing the bride and groom from receiving the amazing photos they paid for.
What does hurt is going to lunch with some friends and friends of friends you are hoping to get to know only they spend most of their time texting.
What does hurt is watching guests ignore the party you worked hard to put together in favor of scrolling through facebook or tumblr.
I'm not talking about the time where you take a photo of you & your friends at a Halloween party, post it to Instagram, and then put your phone away. I'm not talking about when you argue pop culture trivia, check the facts on Google, and then put your phone away.
I'm talking about trying to have a connection and hitting a wall. Wanting to look into someone's eyes but meeting a blank stare. Hearing but not listening, seeing but not understanding, talking without feeling. This is not a wedding problem, it's an everyday problem. Before you think you can't possibly be guilty but everyone else is- check yourself, honestly and objectively. (I don't own a smartphone and hardly ever text anyone, but I know I need to cut back on my compulsive facebook-checking!)
Open your eyes and watch the world with your heart.
And now a completely arbitrary set of pictures of my mom & sister because it makes me laugh.