Apple cofounder Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world on January 9, 2007. Now, twelve years later, the average American spends more than two hours a day on a smartphone. It’s estimated that by 2020, around 70 percent of the world’s population — more than 5 billion people — will be using one.

After a few failed attempts to have conversations with friends who could not keep their eyes off their screens for more than ten minutes, I began taking photographs of people lost inside their phones. They weren’t hard to find, whether I was in New York City or Amsterdam, Dublin or New Delhi. Wherever I traveled, the devices were a consistent presence, a tool people use in nearly every aspect of their lives. I felt as if I was witnessing a global addiction.

— Gianpaolo La Paglia