The Smartphone Black Hole

I love the work of Nathan Yoder, an illustrator based out of Seattle, WA. I was looking through his Instagram, and I came across this beautiful image of a smartphone black hole.

I love the piece because it stresses the attractive pull of smartphones on our attention.

In the Instagram caption, Yoder writes:

This past year, I removed all social media apps from my phone. I still manage to get sucked in when I’m in front of my computer but I’ve since been far less reactionary and impulsively attached to my phone.

Yoder demonstrates this perfectly in the smartphone black hole. A smartphone with a black screen sits at the center of the image, and a spiral of purple, red, orange, and yellow as well as planets shoot towards the center. The swirling lines indicate dynamic activity, and it makes it seem like planets truly are going into the depths of the phone. The colors certainly evoke a galactic feel, as purple, red, orange, and yellow remind the viewer of celestial bodies.

I like this image because the planets are significantly smaller than the smartphone. By scaling a small phone to be larger than planets, it stresses the power that smartphones have over us. Meaning, our phones have a tremendous gravity in our lives, strong enough to pull in planets, and we need to recognize that.

In terms of what I did not like, I can’t say that I disliked anything. I really like Yoder’s easy-to-understand style, so I am a big fan of this piece.

For me, the image is a reminder to put my phone down because it really is a black hole for my attention. Yoder’s piece helps me understand the power that these technologies hold over us through both a dramatic and simple design.