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Wanted

Life Before And After The Digital Revolution, In Pictograms

Was it really better when we had attention spans?

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Yang Liu has a way of turning our most nuanced social behavior into starkly honest illustrations. In 2014, she distilled the complexity of gender dynamics into cheeky pictograms for her book Man Meets Woman. Now, she has given technology the same treatment, showing with bold simplicity how our devices have affected every aspect of our lives.

In Today Meets Yesterday, Liu's spare illustrations offer a before and after look life in the digital age—and the latter is not always an improvement. The tight friends circle of yesteryear? Now a sprawling, interconnected social network. Games that once involved jumping and running and playing? Now made up of pixels. Attention spans? Firmly a thing of the past.

In the book's introduction, Liu takes a more balanced view of things. "On the topic of change, opinions have always differed widely," she writes. "While some delight in progress and the innovations it brings, other mourn after tradition and the good old days." But if pictograms say a thousand words, these are calling us technologically enabled jerks. Nobody said seeing things in black-and-white was always going to be flattering.

See more of Liu's illustrations in the slideshow above. Buy a copy of Today Meets Yesterday here.

[All Images: courtesy Taschen]

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