Finding Ones Own in Cyberspace, by Amy Bruckman

Finding Ones Own in Cyberspace, by Amy Bruckman

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Ever since I have been in college my telephone has been shorting out every time I try to have a conversation with someone on it. It has been so aggravating! Especially when I am trying to talk and the person on the other line keeps saying, what, what...What did you say? It drives me crazy! Well when I got to college I was advised, and later informed, that it was a requirement to know how to use the Internet. So I signed up for an E-mail account. In high school I never used the computer for anything but assignments, but now I constantly find myself on line. I am either E-mailing friends far away, or talking to my family on IM (Instant Message). The Net has been most helpful to me when it comes to contacting others, especially since my phone doesnt work. Most importantly, I feel that the Net has brought my family and I closer together. After I read Finding Ones Own in Cyberspace, by Amy Bruckman, an essay explaining that to enjoy the Net we need to find our own place, our own community, so I realized that my community on the Net is E-mail, enabling me to talk to the people closest to me. The movie You've Got Mail starring, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, exemplifies how two people become closer through E-mail. Making it easier for people to connect in ways they always could, but never new how. Both the movie, Youve Got Mail, and Bruckmans Finding Ones Own in Cyberspace explore how the Net brings out a side of us that cannot be seen by the human eye. You've Got Mail is a love story about a man and woman who meet on the Internet and use e-mail to talk to each other. Although they havent met face to face they know so much about each other that if they were to meet, it wouldnt matter what the other person looked like. Hankss character owns a very popular bookstore that in turn makes Ryans tiny family bookstore go out of business. Therefore, Ryan hates Hanks throughout the whole movie. Everyday they seem to run into each other not knowing that the person(s) behind their faces are their soul mates. Little do they know the person they see everyday and the person that they despise is the same person they talk to every night when using E-mail or their I.

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M (instant message). They sit at their computers complaining and cracking jokes about a woman (Ryan) that bugs him every day, and the man (Hanks) whom Ryan thinks is heartless and selfish. There is more to the movie, which adds to the plot, but basically Hanks finds out that Ryan is the one he has been talking to all this time and he falls in love with her. In the last scene of the movie Hanks meets Ryan face to face and they kiss and live happily ever after. Amy Bruckmans essay, Finding Ones Own in Cyberspace paints a really good picture of the idea of different communities. She used the example that a bar and a restaurant hold two different kinds of people. Whether comparing their cars, clothing, age or personalities, they are two different communities of people. Then when it comes to the Internet it is more difficult for a person to find where they belong in all the different communities on the Net. It takes patience and a lot of time for that particular person to find an enjoyable place on the Net. Bruckman suggests that if there were still people having trouble finding a community, it would be wise of them to create their own. The Internet can make it hard for us to find our interests, because we cannot visualize what we see on the Net like we can see the difference in a bar and a restaurant. So creating our own place or finding our own place on the Net makes it easier for us to see what we are exploring. On the Net there are numerous places for different people to speak to each other. In Ryan and Hankss case they found their own little place on the Net, using their own personal E-mail. Bruckmans essay becomes so much clearer when we watch the movie Youve Got Mail because we can see how two people feel so comfortable and happy they are when using the Net. Hanks and Ryans community is E-mail. They cant wait to hear that they have a message. They both enjoy sharing thoughts and telling each other about their day. People seem to express themselves most when writing letters. Especially letters of apology! Most letters are true words from the heart. As for Hanks and Ryan their E-mail becomes very personal to them. E-mail in a sense, is a deeper thought typed out onto a screen. Just like a hand written letter, although E-mail arrives in the receivers mailbox moments after it is sent. What got me most about the movie and Bruckmans essay, was that Bruckman argued, Its a lot harder to find a virtual community than it is to find a good bar. The visual cues that let you spot the difference between what Marias and the Sportsman are largely missing. Instead you have to lurk and explore. (Bruckman 172).

The same idea is seen with Ryan and Hanks. They use each others thoughts and feelings to visualize the other person whom they talk to. They create through their minds a place where they both can be happy with each other without having to know who the other person is. Bruckman lets us in on the fact that to find our community we need to search. Allowing us to feel comfortable in a place on the Net. E-mail has been such an advantage for me now that I attend college. Now I too can talk to family and friends. The only time I use the computer is when I need to contact someone. I have never liked using computers, and besides E-mailing I dont think there is another place on the net that would make me happier. I enjoy talking with others. My mother and I, for example, have never been on the same level when talking to each other in person. Yet, when we talk with each other through the Net I have found myself saying things to her that I thought I would never say. I feel that I have made a stronger relationship with my mother because I have used E-mail. If I wrote an essay about finding ourselves in cyberspace like Bruckmans essay, it would express how when we use E-mail, a certain side of us comes out. A side where we can express all feelings and thoughts the way we want. Letting us to talk to others whom we never would speak to in person about such feelings. We can find ourselves in a place were we feel comfortable. I have even found myself through E-mail, and my community of people. Though E-mail I have a relationship with my mom I never thought I would have. E-mail has made it so I can speak my mind whenever I want to.

Works Cited

Bruckman, Amy. Finding Ones Own in Cyberspace." Composing Cyberspace. Ed. Richard Holeton. San Francisco: Magraw Hill,1988. (171-180)

Youve Got Mail. Nora Ephorn. Warner Bros. 1999.
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