I wrote a blog post back in March about how being locked down in 2020 seemed kinda “basic”. That was partly because I’d been expecting hoverboards from 2015 (as Back To The Future promised!) so I had even higher hopes for 2020.
I do think that it was the right thing to do, given the limited knowledge about the virus, and unfortunately, I think there’s still a long way to go before we’re free of it.
The point of the blog back then was that even if we were locked down and isolated, at least we had cinema to keep us company. Yes, it’s not *quite* the same, but it’s a pretty great second. We can escape our lives for a few hours by watching a movie, and we can feel part of an online community as we share our thoughts on it afterwards.
As well as watching movies, I love to read. My Dad is a huge reader, and I followed in his footsteps and read a ridiculous amount as a child. My Dad definitely reads more than I do these days, but I do make sure I fit a book in between movies.
My latest book is Buying In, by Rob Walker. Buying In explores brands, how we connect with them, and why we buy from them. Maybe not as interesting to most people as a good novel, but as a small business owner, it’s something that intrigued me.
I’ve only got a few chapters in, but some of what Rob said in the book got me thinking. Rob gives some great examples, but says that we buy from brands for two conflicting reasons.
- We want to express our individuality
- We want to feel like we belong
Makes no sense, right?
…well, not really.
Humans have lived in communities for millions of years – we all want to belong. There’s safety in numbers, social benefits, skills available that we don’t possess… But that doesn’t mean we’re the same as everyone else. Conflict? It makes complete sense to me.
But then, I’m a middle child: Not the oldest, not the youngest. Not the first girl, not the first boy. The middle one. I like to think that I argued with my brother and sister in equal measure when we were growing up (although I have a pretty great relationship with both of them now). We always made up. Why? Because we’re family. I belong to my family, and they belong to me.
Like everyone, my siblings and I are our own people. We like some of the same stuff, other times we will wrinkle our faces and express our confusion at why our sibling is doing something crazy (this is me when anyone eats peanut butter).
Cinema is the same. We go and sit in the dark with strangers because that makes us feel like we belong. But we interpret and experience the film as individuals, through our own unique filters. We form our opinions of the magical moving pictures in front of us all on our own.
We talk about movies and our taste in movies as individuals, but we talk to a community, that we belong to.
Back in the olden times, before COVID-19, I used to sell jewellery at different stalls. Some were more craft/artisan focussed, some were more movie focussed. One of my favourite things about that was asking people “what’s your favourite movie?” and seeing their reaction. A lot of the time, it was similar to mine – “I have to pick just one?” but sometimes people would know exactly what their favourite was. Even then, their answers could surprise me. They could often give me a few solid reasons as to why their favourite movie was The Greatest Movie Of All Time.
As long as we keep respecting each other’s opinions and talking about what makes our choice of movie great, we’ll have a fantastic community. We’ll be individuals and we’ll be part of something bigger than ourselves.
Welcome to the family!