Man looking at phone misses humpback whale swimming right by him

A photo that, for some, sums up what is wrong with the modern world has gone viral after being posted to Instagram.

Man looking at phone misses humpback whale swimming right by him

A photo that, for some, sums up what is wrong with the modern world has gone viral after being posted to Instagram.

On a sailing boat off the coast of California, a man missed the opportunity to see a humpback whale breaching the water just a few feet from where he sat - because whatever was on his phone was more interesting.

The photo - taken by Eric Smith, a professional photographer, on the California coast - he posted it to Instagram with the caption "a sign of the times".

Smith says he took five photos of the man who never looked up from his phone and completely missed the whale swimming past the boat.

Speaking to ABC News, Eric Smith said, “a small private sailboat manoeuvred really close to the whales, and this guy on it was literally sitting in that position and never moved.

"He could have been texting his mum in the hospital for all I know, but I thought it sucked that he missed such a wonderful moment happening just two feet in front of him.

"We're all guilty being buried in our phones, even me. You think life is better on your phone, but we’re missing what’s happening around us."

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