“We watch other people live out their dreams instead of investing in dreams of our own. …Never settle for anything less than extraordinary or else, life will suck. …It might suck anyway, but it’s better to suck with integrity, right?” – Ione Skye as Frankie, “Dream for an Insomniac.”
Okay, so I know some of you may be wondering why I chose to resurrect this oldie (but darn goodie, if I do say so myself). Well, listen up; I’ll tell you.
While watching an “older” movie recently, I noticed a void. Something was pretty substantial was missing. Literally. No, it wasn’t for lack of story or flavor. The albeit fictional people were missing something that weighs us down every day. What was it?
Every time I watch a movie dating back to pre-mobile times, I’m reminded of what life was like before they took over. There is a stark contrast between movies made before that time and more recent films.
Have you ever noticed that before? Go ahead, try it. The next time you see a movie watch for differences. They are not as subtle as you might think. Assuming the movie is not a period film, notice how many times mobile devices are incorporated into scenes.
Not only that, the conversations are longer, more in-depth. Thoughts tend to go much deeper even in the silliest of films. Now, I’m not saying that our phones and social media keep us on the surface…but I kind of am.
No judgment. I can be just as guilty as the next person.
Why did I choose “Dream for an Insomniac” to illustrate my point?
First, if you haven’t seen this ’90’s cult classic, you must. And not just to see an early glimpse of Jennifer Aniston sporting the classic “Rachel” haircut. It is such a good example of what life was like before technology took over our lives.
“Dream for an Insomniac” could be set in modern times. It is the tale of young friends just trying to figure out life just like we are now. But there is so much more richness and meaning to their conversations. The only sense of hurry they feel is for work (okay, well, maybe not for Frankie) and they are just kinder towards each other. They may poke fun here and there, but always out of love for each other.
People spent much more time sitting together and talking to each other. They listened to what the other person had to say without the distraction of a screen competing for attention. People actually looked at each other intently. They talked about things that were important and they were genuinely interested in what the other person had to say. People just paid more attention to each other and to the things that were important. They lived fully immersed in activities and in life.
Some will not remember or know what I’m talking about and I grieve for you. Those days were like gold. There was no pressure of “I’ve got to check my phone” every two minutes. There was no “Fear of Missing Out” because you weren’t missing out or having the world at your fingertips to tell you, “hey, you’re missing out on this.”
Every time someone asks me what are the things I love the most in life. They are always times that I have spent with other people.
Those warm summer nights sitting on the front porch having the best of conversations. A million stars in the sky. The crickets singing their evening song. Nothing but endless expanses of time lay ahead. No phone to distract meant full immersion of the senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, hear.
These days I’m proud of myself if I can put my phone in another room for longer than an hour. Every time I think I might be lost without it, I remember the time we actually were without it. We had to figure “life” out without having Google do it for us. And we survived just fine. Better than fine actually. Because the ability to cope was greater. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I miss those days.
“Dream for an Insomniac” is a tribute to the dreamer in all of us that values integrity above all. May we live our days like Frankie, in a constant search for the truth.