Classic English Literature

Comparing and contrasting “Love internet style” by David Brooks and “family values” by Richard Rodriguez

In “Love Internet Style” by David Brooks, the focus is on the present day online dating that has increasingly attracted many people. Brooks’ primary purpose is to explore the advantages of online dating while Rodriguez primary purpose is to support homosexuality, which he perfectly disguises by concentrating on his secondary purpose. Brooks names the advantages of online dating as first, prolonging of the dating period therefore bringing the traditional view of dating. Brooks argues that online dating puts back structure into dating because it prolongs the period for dating. He says that in the past, the boy would take the girl out for movies, meet the father and after a few weeks ask her to go steady with him. Second, there is a longer duration before the two engage in sex. He argues that the process of traditional dating happens in internet dating since the two people exchange mails for a few weeks followed by phone calls for a few more weeks and when they meet for the first time, it is mostly tentative and Dutch (Brooks, 2003).

Third, the people looking for dates online have the advantage of assessing the prospective date’s personal information and choosing the date of their choice. For example, people get to see the photos and the financial status, which enables them to choose the best. Brook’s secondary purpose is to inform people of how to engage in online dating. He gives details on how one can market himself by using catchy worlds like “I am a vivacious, intelligent, warm-hearted, attractive, cool chick, with a sharp, witty, and effervescent personality.” He also gives details on the process of online dating beginning with the initial stage of sorting. Unlike Brooks, Rodriguez’s primary purpose is hidden since he concentrates more of his secondary purpose but it can be singled out as supporting homosexuality.

Also unlike Brooks, he does not cite the advantages or strong points of homosexuality. Brooks’ secondary purpose is giving the disadvantage of online dating, which is that it can lead to stratification of people along education levels. This would lead to educated people dating their kind therefore ensuring there are poor people in the society (Brooks, 2003) while Rodriguez secondary purpose is to define family values and to show that different families have different values, which determine whether they accept or reject certain values (Alexander, 1996). In exploring these family values, he leans on homosexuality and explores how different families deal with it. He gives an example of a middle-aged man contemplating to tell his family that he is gay. He goes further to say there is the accepting family that will nurture despite what is revealed and the unaccepting family that will kick-out the son.

               The strong points of Brooks’ essay t have been discussed above as advantages, while the strong points of Rodriguez essay are he defines family, family values and the meaning of these values to a family. He also brings out the differences there are in families defining some as accepting and others unaccepting of certain behaviors. The weaknesses in Brooks essay are first he overlooked the insecurity that surrounds online dating. It is not as safe as he portrayed it to be because people give false information about themselves to attract excellent partners. Some people lie about their marital status, financial status and some put photos of other people (Alexander, 1996). By the time, the online partner realizes it is a lie he could be emotionally attached leading to psychological stress.
               The second weakness is that the disadvantage Brook gives for online dating which is increase in stratification along education levels, could not be valid for the current times since most society’s have experienced the highest levels of stratification meaning that it is not possible for them to be stratified further. This means that the possibility that the educated will only date the educated is therefore not true since in real life, the intellectuals hang out in the same circles therefore they date each other. It would only mean that online dating helps those who would not meet in their social circles to date. Rodriguez’ essay’s weaknesses are first, unlike Brooks’ essay, his essay is not clear on its primary purpose. It supports homosexuality, which many people view as moral decay and finally it ignores the fact that some family values like love and empathy that are viewed as universal. The similarity between these essays is that they both got critiques. People feel Brooks essay overlooked the dangers of online dating while in Rodriguez case people see homosexuality as immoral.

Richard Rodriguez on the other hand focused on family values in his essay “family values.” He defined family values, a family and what “family value” is to a family. In his essay, he defined family values as what a family believes, for example when determining whether a mother should work or not or whether a son should be a homosexual. His focus is different from that of Brooks because it is on exploring family values, while Brooks focused on the advantages of online dating. Rodriguez goes further to look at a ten-year-old girl who keeps secrets from her family due to the fear of being rejected if she told them her secrets.

Rodriquez goes further to say some families do not accept abortion while others do not accept homosexuality. In giving these examples, he seeks to stress the fact that families are different and therefore family values differ from one family to the other. He goes further to say that, a family is the father, mother and the children. He illustrates a mother’s job by describing the work of a politician’s wife. He says, “The politician’s wife is careful to follow her husband’s sentimental reassurance that nothing has changed about America except perhaps for the sinister influence of deviants” (Alexander, 1996). In saying this, he brings out the mother’s job as a supporter.

Brooks work can be seen as informative while that of Rodriguez is descriptive. Brooks takes time to inform what happens in internet dating. He gives details of how long it takes for people dating online to engage in sexual relations. He also gives details on how those looking for partners sort them according to their desired characteristics for a mate. On the other hand, Rodriguez defines family, family values and the meaning of family values to a family. He seeks to explain the family’s behavior in relation to their values.

Work Cited:

Alexander, Christopher.  Clinical Issues in Identity Development in Gay Latino Men. New York, NY: Routledge, 1996. Print.

Brooks, David. “Love Internet Style.” The New York Times, May 21 2003. Print.


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