English 100 Section RI
Sep 10th 2014
Cultural lifestyle and identity
With the increasing development of technology, the electric communication devices arise and take over too much time of daily lives. Texting, emailing and telephoning are endless and successive. Busyness becomes the normality for the people who live in a fast-paced metropolis. People are busy about communicating and maintaining the social relationships with telegrams and racing around the city to get the work done. Keeping busyness is not about productivity and efficiency but a life-style and characteristic. Adam Gopnik, the author of the text “Bumping into Mr. Ravioli”, illustrates how his three year old daughter’s imaginary friend behaves likes a typical New Yorker – always too busy to sit down and catch up. By viewing the perspectives of his daughter, wife and sister, Gopnik points out how the lifestyle of New Yorkers changes and how these changes affect the relationships between people and the attitude to work and life. People who closely involved in these circumstances are always blind to what is obvious and complain the pressure that burdens their lives. However, viewing this from other’s eyes leads people to figure out the increasing contradiction and problems are actually inevitable. It forms their lifestyles and becomes part of their unique identity.
Through other’s eyes, People recognize that the contradiction between the social media and the interpersonal relationships forms a unique lifestyle of New Yorkers. Instead of having an intimate tight relationship with a specific person in a certain circle, New Yorker prefers to socialize in a light way to keep everyone in touch, thereby carrying the social obligation of the network. At the beginning, the electric devices are created to bring their users together. However, with the widespread uses of these devices, people are pulled apart rather than tied to each other. Especially for the young people who live in a high speed metropolis, texting, emailing and updating congest their lives. They could not even leave their phones for just one second. Yet, Can we say that they are bound together with all these telegrams? The answer is certainly not. Using electric devices to communicate seems like connecting with each other all the time but actually not create the tight relationship with anyone. Gopnik states his opinion about the electric communication in the text. He says, “Every device that has evolved from the telegram shares the same character. E-mails end with a suggestion for a phone call (“Anyway, Let’s meet and/or talk soon”), faxes with a request for an e-mail, answering machine messages with a request for a fax. All are devices of perpetually suspended communication” (157). By viewing from his wife, Gopnik finds out that the electric communication is just like a circulation which will never end. The e-mail, texts are both incomplete messages and always give open doors for discussing the subjects later. These incomplete messages always take over too much time of daily lives. For example, Gopnik’s wife has to check the information by fax, emails and telephone messages. The incomplete messages make the simple things become complicated and inconvenient. The contradiction emerges that the social media is supposed to gather people. However, with all these endless electric communications, people are pulled apart from each other. People who live in New York are busy contacting their acquaintances to keep the social network and solve the problems that the incomplete information. People might feel exhausted and tired with all these incomplete information and busyness communication. However, socializing in this busy way and having the isolation relationship in the society are not quite bad things for New Yorkers. As Gopnik says in the text, “I’ll see you next week, let’s talk soon. We build rhetorical baffles around outlives to keep the crowding out, only to find