Tina is a girl in her early twenties, fascinated with the world and with people, who tends to approach whoever she thinks is cooler than herself – people who dress simple, talk about alternative movies, and engage in conversations about national politics. She has this urge to observe, imitate and learn, and perhaps for this very reason she is so prone to new friendships and conversations.
Whenever she returns home, where she lives with her grandparents, mother and three younger siblings, she throws herself onto the couch with a quick snack in her hands and plays chit chatter with anyone in the house who passes by. Three stories and a few laughs later, Tina is ready to go upstairs and spend some time on her cell phone for a few hours.
One of these days, after going upstairs and throwing her bag on the bed, Tina realized that she’d left her cell phone in a friend’s backpack. She obviously thought of going to Andrea’s house to pick it up, but it was not worth it driving for an hour and a half once they would meet early in the following morning.
There was a huge sense in her of not knowing what to do. The house computer is for the use of the whole family which equals to no privacy whatsoever. The book she was reading was on her cell phone. The messages she exchanged with all her friends throughout the day, conversations still pending, were on the cell phone. The links left open on blogs she wanted to read later: on the cell phone. The photos and videos she was going to edit that week. Cell phone.
Then Tina remembered of a story her grandfather used to tell them about how his parents would not let him go hang around with the crowd at Stanislau, the district next to theirs. By the way, it was in Stanislau where Tina’s grandmother used to live, and it was in that area that the two of them met and started dating, more than 4 decades ago. But everything happened in secret; at that time there was no way to convince parents to let their children hook up with the ones from that and other surrounding areas.
Those kids just wanted to be together, to talk to each other and spend time together. Often doing nothing special, but together.
And isn’t this spontaneous simplicity that Tina now considers heroic?
– – –
In the Digital Age, our skills are uncountable. We’ve developed the ability to interact, produce and retain information at high speed, everything at the same time and right now.
On the other hand, meanwhile, we lost the calmness of what is simple. Simple things are seen as not interesting; if it’s not jaw-dropping, it’s not good enough.
What are the priorities that move us, after all?