“Look at her, just staring at her phone like a zombie,” the middle-aged woman said in a loud stage whisper which was clearly intended to be heard.
“She’s sitting in an art museum, right in front of a genuine Monet, and she’s staring at her phone,” said her husband, not even bothering to whisper.
“Guarantee you if someone had shown Monet an iPhone while he was painting that piece of shit he woulda dropped his brush and forgotten all about it,” said the girl without looking up.
The woman gasped and sputtered. The man’s face went dark.
“Piece of shit?” he said. “Piece of shit? Do you have any idea who Monet was? How lucky you are to be able to experience his work? And you sit there staring at your phone without so much as a glance at the masterpieces you’re surrounded by?”
The girl ignored him.
“The good Lord never saw fit to give us a child,” said the woman. “But if he had, I like to think we’d have taught her to have some respect for her elders. And if we’d have caught her staring at her phone in an art museum, I’d have taken it away and thrown it in the trash.”
The girl looked up. Her eyes were strange.
“You do get that I’m not actually ‘staring at my phone’, right? Like, you know I’m having actual conversations and engaging with people and taking in information, don’t you? Do you understand that there’s information on this screen that I’m actively interacting with? This isn’t a TV, I’m not just passively staring at it.”
“TikTok videos,” the man sneered.
“I mean yeah, sometimes,” said the girl. “Sometimes I’m looking at other teenagers figuring out their bodies and their appearance and stuff. I know it’s always been cool to make fun of literally anything teenage girls like, because we can’t possibly have interests and values that are worth treating with human dignity, but you know what? There’s also some great stuff on TikTok. Not just dancing, but like people sharing their insights and experiences to help each other understand life better and sort through their trauma and confusion and figure out their place in the world,