Electronic Forever

I received so much delight from reading this article on Slate by Noreen Malone on the selfish audacity of wedding websites. When David and I got married two years ago, we had a bare bones website set up automatically by our wedding planner at Disney and primarily designed to get people information about making reservations at the resorts where we blocked rooms. In fact, I am ashamed to say, the purpose of said website was almost entirely to ensure that Walt Disney World made the maximum amount of money that it could from our friends and family by enticing them to book hotel rooms at reduced rates and purchase theme park tickets. There also might have been some links to where David and I were registered too. Fortunately, though, our website included no pictures of ourselves (much less slide shows or videos) and so the “Look at Me” syndrome was kept to a minimum. Nonetheless, wedding websites are at the intersection of the self-absorbed web and consumerism. Weddings themselves also showcase that intersection as well, even the small ones like David and I had.

For that matter, so are blogs, and that is something that I have struggled with writing this blog. I am comforted by the fact that my blog is of no real consequence in the world, so I don’t operate under any assumption that anyone remotely cares about what I write here. But I am also aware that it is a little bit selfish, because why put any of this in a public forum if this really were just for me, as I like to think? Sure, I like the idea of being able to link to things (like said article) or post pictures or videos, but couldn’t I do that without making this publicly viewable? I could, and for the record, there are plenty of things that I intend to keep private because I believe in a good old fashion sense of propriety. I guess (going back to my post from a few days ago), I am concerned less about the judgments that people make about me these days. However, being aware of this selfishness, I try to keep some aspects of the consumerism to a minimum. I may talk about things that I like, but I try to veer away from giving advice to other people about buying things. Furthermore, I don’t consider my “lifestyle” as one worth emulating by other people. It isn’t that I don’t like my life; I do. Rather, it is that I don’t presume that my set of tastes and preferences should be or would be shared by others. Who else wants to spend several weekends cataloging her own books by the Library of Congress call number system? It isn’t an attribute of personality that I would expect other people to emulate. I don’t go to other people’s houses and think less of them if they don’t have a cataloging system in place for their books. You can say that I am grasping at straws to justify my blogging, but at least I will admit to you: “Yes, well maybe I am.”

I leave you with the best line from Ms. Malone’s article:

But the democratization of the Web creates an entirely new problem: It asks the virtual community to engage meaningfully with the idea of blissful foreverness in the same inherently judgmental medium that spawned Perez Hilton.”

Words to consider, my friends.

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