This Generation Is Connected to Phones, Not Food

The sensory experience of cooking and eating is being overtaken by Tasty videos and #foodporn

Juliette Luini


A person photographs their food with an iPhone, by Igor Miske / Unsplash Images

It’s 1 in the morning in Los Angeles. While the streets beat with urban shenanigans, three teenage girls huddle in a twin-sized bed for a sleepover. They’re hungry, and understandably so. They’ve watched seven episodes of “The Crown” since Uber Eats delivered dinner. An iPhone flashes blue light to alert one of the girls that they’re “liked.” She clicks on the notification, which transports her to her Instagram page; there, she admires the photo of fleshy sashimi that now lives inside her body, nearly digested. Her mouth waters.

Too tired to roll out of bed and make a midnight snack, the girls appease their grumbling stomachs with their eyes. The trio hovers over a laptop to watch minute-long videos of hands cooking. The monotony of cracking eggs, whisking, melted cheese stretching, kneading, mixing, forks revealing chocolate goo, cracking eggs, whisking, melted cheese…distracts them from their grumbling stomachs and coaxes them to sleep.

When I asked my 18-year-old sister how her relationship to food differs from our parents, she chuckled as she shared her addiction to these “hands and pans” videos. We also talked about Instagram food photography, vegan…