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The Role of Communication in Virtual Love by Meghan Daum and You’ve Got Mail




Love is a complicated and fragile feeling. It can appear from nowhere and it can disappear at one moment. Communication is an important component of love. People have to know each other before they fall in love and communication through letters and mail may become both – an interesting experiment and bitter disappointment. Both romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail and article Virtual Love by Meghan Daum speak about people who tried to find their love through distanced communication. The theme is really interesting because in our age of technology more and more people start dating writing each other in different Internet agencies. The movie and the article provide examples of successful and unsuccessful love stories which are the result of communication through letter and through e-mail.

You’ve Got Mail is a romantic comedy which is actually a remake to The Stop Around the Corner shot in 1940. You’ve Got Mail tells a story of two people who anonymously communicate with each other through e-mail but do not know that they live and  work close to each other. Kathleen and Joe often occur in funny situations because of their conspiracy.  Kathleen is not happy in her relationship with her boyfriend Frank and she escape in the world of dreams. She communicates with a man via e-mails but she does not know his real name because they use nick-names in their letters. The irony of the situation that both, Joe and Kathleen possess book shops and treat each other as competitors in real life. Joe soon discovers the truth about the identity of his e-mail girlfriend and makes an attempt to build normal relations with Kathleen. Kathleen at the same time is to busy with competition with Fox Books shop trying to save her business that does not mention these attempts. Gradually Joe manages to build friendly relations with Kathleen and after some time these relations turn into love. In the final scene Kathleen and her virtual boyfriend make an appointment and finally meet each other .Here Kathleen at last discovers who her virtual friend was in reality. The characters of the movie are lucky because they  are able to find their ways to combine their romantic feelings they share through mails with real communication and this combination becomes a successful one. Despite the happy end the movie illustrates vividly how people may create completely different images of themselves in real life and via communication by e-mails. Kathleen and Joe enjoy perfect communication via mails but they can not find common ground in real life.

The Virtual Love by Meghan Daum also describes a love story which developes through e-mails. In contrast to the popular movie, this story does not have a happy end. In the article Meghan Daum describes her negative experience and disillusionment she feels after meeting the object of her virtual love in real life. Meghan is a young and romantic girl who earns additional money by writing articles. She is really happy to receive a friendly and supporting letter from an unknown man who expressed fascination with her writing.

Daum writes in her article that she was charmed by her new friend. They share nice communication and Meghan loves the personality of the person who writes letters to her. Pete, the person who writes Meghan these letters, makes a very good impression on her. After some time of communication via e-mails two people agree to meet. This meeting becomes a bitter disappointment for Meghan. She is not only disappointed in the personality of Pete but also in his manner and behavior. After dinner Pete asks Meghan to go and spend night with him. The young girl is totally embarrassed and offends this proposition. As she herself writes: “He became as unmysterious as anyone next door” (Daum 261). Several months of communication did not give Meghan a right idea about Pete and she becomes completely disappointed after only several hours of personal communication. Meghan creates her imaginary world with her ideal man but this world is broken by the real meeting with a real man.

Both, the move You’ve Got Mail and Daum’s article describe the stories in which people try to build relations via e-mails. The story described in the movie has a happy end. However, the main character of the article is less lucky and her meeting in real life becomes a real disappointment for her. Communication via Internet creates illusions and when people meet in real life they sometimes feel disappointed. In some cases, like in the movie, people can overcome existing barriers and obstacles via Internet and find their sweethearts.



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