My boyfriend came home from work the other night and told me about a girl from Italy he used to work with who moved to Washington with work recently. As with all expats, she had an expectation of what life in the States would be like, but even if you think you have a good idea of a place (from movies, books, the media in general), when you are actually living in a place you can be taken aback by how different it is to the perception you had of it.
What Ciara has been surprised by, is tv. Not so much the programs, but the advertising. She says the adverts swing from advertising loans to advertising ways out of debt, or advertising diets, then junk food. It’s been a real eye-opener for her.
This morning I read an article in ‘Apartment Therapy‘ about Miho Aikawa, a photographer who has just undertaken a project exploring the topic ‘Dinner in NY‘. Aikawa says “A study in Public Health Nutrition….reveals some interesting trends. Eating as a primary activity declined in the past 30 years. On the other hand, eating as a secondary activity rose dramatically in the past 30 years. [...] We now do almost 50% of our eating while concentrating on something else.”
These photos certainly give an interesting peek into modern life. Strangely, I was more surprised by the number of people sitting eating beside their laptops than anything else. Perhaps because watching tv while eating has become entrenched in society, perhaps because there is a solitary aspect to sitting eating at a computer whereas tv watching can still be a group activity. Nonetheless, the overall feeling I was left with was sadness. Isn’t it a shame that we don’t all just sit and talk more at mealtimes?