Comparative Analysis "You've Got Mail"

1451 words - 6 pages

Comparative Analysis Final DraftCommunicating meaningfully is becoming more difficult than ever before. As advancements in technology are creating an ever-increasing number of ways to communicate rapidly over great distances, many people are becoming so well insulated and protected by their devices that they are losing the skills and abilities of communicating in the most influential way - face-to-face. In You've Got Mail, a film directed by three-time Academy Award nominee Nora Ephron, main characters played by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan unknowingly develop a strong cyber-relationship as they become more and more interested in each other through a series of secretive e-mails. The relationship between Hanks and Ryan develops entirely online, and a confusion surfaces when the two meet in person, unaware of the fact that they have already met on the internet. Hanks and Ryan take comfort under the protection of the internet. This growing comfort being taken in internet communication can prove as a threat, because an inadequacy in social skills may surface due to a lack of face-to-face communication. As this lack of face-to-face communication continues to grow, people will become so socially inadequate that the continuation of humans as a species may eventually be in jeopardy.Tweets, text messages, and e-mails transmit words over distances so they can be received without the sender's presence. The human element and context are completely absent. There is no instantaneous interaction that allows the person to understand the tone, inflection, or emotion that is carried within the words. Communicating with influence is not simply about what is being said, but also how it is being said. During face-to-face interactions, one can observe and experience the message being delivered, and actively listen and engage in ones interests to build the relationship. With e-mail or text messaging, there are certain social nuances that are missed, and what one is trying to say may be misconstrued by the person on the other end. As people continue to rely on technology as a primary source of communication, they may find that they are lacking social skills due to the fact that they do not have the leisure of being able to stop and consider what to say as they do while texting or sending an e-mail.In "Virtual Love," an article written by Meghan Daum, a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in the New Yorker, a very similar situation takes place with respect to You've Got Mail. In both the film and the article, a certain comfort is taken in being behind a computer screen, but when the time comes for face-to-face interaction, a level of discomfort surfaces. Daum experiences a problem related to this issue upon meeting with PFSlider, someone whom she becomes very fond of through a series of intimate e-mails. The connection that exists between Daum and PFSlider through the e-mails does not translate to real life, as she describes her meeting with PFSlider as...

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