Lost in Translation: That’s The Way to Say Goodbye.

Posted on December 17, 2012

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TranslationI watched Lost in Translation again last night. It got me thinking about “goodbyes.”

In the movie, a young woman and an older man develop an unlikely friendship/romance in an unlikely place — a hotel in Tokyo. The story culminates, when the characters confront the question, “For us, what is the appropriate way to say goodbye?”

They confront the question because, in 2003, when people meet each other in unlikely places, they are forced to say goodbye in very real and final terms.

It occurred to me: thanks to the highly connected world in which we now live, we don’t ever really need to say goodbye in the way that people — not that long ago — had to do.

Today, the characters probably would have simply added each other on Facebook and left much of their relationship unresolved.

I’m not sure if this is for better or for worse.

On the one hand, I like the idea of a life without goodbyes, a life where all friendships can be rekindled effortlessly. All those possibilities are wonderful.

On the other hand, if we faced more definitive goodbyes, perhaps, we’d take our comings and goings more seriously and learn from them more often — like the characters in this movie.

What do you think? Are we better or worse off now that goodbyes are a thing of the past?

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