Watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s the other night, I smirked at the constant smoking by every character: waking up, at breakfast, after a meal, walking down the street, in bed, before going to sleep. If there wasn’t a cigarette in hand, nothing was happening. And the same thing is true in so many movies of the era, including Rebel without a Cause and Cool Hand Luke.
It’s so easy to look back, 57 years later, and marvel that people didn’t realize t introducing tobacco smoke into their lungs 15 to 30 times a day might be unhealthy. And that, in fact, it could kill you.
But is the failure of people in Hepburn’s era to ask themselves “How could I be so stupid?”any different that our own failure to look closely at our engagement with cell phones?
As someone always on her cell, watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s carried a strong shock of recognition. I’m a writer, an entrepreneur, a non-profit ED, a parent — and I use social media on my phone as a way to document the parts of my life I wish to share.
— And yet, is checking in with that little screen to like or post an Instagram photo, a YouTube video or a Tweet really the best way to share with my community? Is that digital peeking and clicking as shallow and as hazardous to health — as the cigarettes being lit up (more than 60 packs by the end of the movie) in Breakfast at Tiffany’s — or is it something deeper and more genuine?
From the perspective of someone in 2075, it has to feel like a mistake.
So, for 2018, one of my new resolutions is to spend less time on my phone. I want to spend less time sharing and grooming relationships online and more time on nights and weekends seeing friends in real life. I want to let go of my addiction to likes from people I rarely see (and whom I might not recognize in I met them on the street), and get off the goddamn phone.