Last week’s facetious post looked at putting a fun spin on a popular wedding tradition: the speech. It kind of got me thinking about wedding traditions in general, not least when I found myself procrastinating doing some research on social media this week.

If you’re anything like me, you will love everything wedding; you will devour it with the kind of passion usually associated with the gluttonous; you will find every aspect of weddings so divine that even once your nuptials have long-since passed, you will continue to read the blogs and peruse the magazines. And perhaps even start a business out of said passion, in order to create a totally legitimate reason to do so… Guilty!

 

Innocent Intentions vs Facebook Stalker

Every day I go through my Twitter feed looking at beautiful and desirable images, ahem, inspiring and relevant material to retweet to my followers. (Bah, I may as well just concede that actually, they are one and the same thing, aren’t they?) I also check the feed for my business page on Facebook and do the same. And inevitably, I usually get distracted with notifications that lead to true procrastination on my personal Facebook feed. Oops.

I was doing just that a couple of days ago when a somewhat bemusing – and definitely disturbing – thought occurred to me:

Over the past year, I have viewed countless strangers’ wedding pictures. I have viewed the most personal and intimate moments of people’s lives with absolutely no idea of who they are. I have fallen prey to the rabbit hole that is Facebook more times than I care to remember.

 

Voyeuristic Culture

I love weddings, it is my job, blah blah. But this realisation does not sit well with me. I appreciate that there are, of course, some measures one can put in place to avoid this situation from arising, should they not be comfortable with it. However, it’s necessary to stress the word ‘some’. Because realistically, even if your settings are set to private, you are unable to control the photographs your friends take and how they share those images. Scary, no?

Whereas on Twitter, the lovely pictures I feast on with an insatiable appetite are released by photographers on their blogs (and thus very likely to be endorsed by the happy couple), what I describe  above is a completely separate issue: an absolute invasion of privacy. Potentially.

That basically makes me (and probably you too) a voyeur.

And that is not something I’m exactly comfortable with. Of course, if I’m perving at other people’s wedding pics, it is not a big leap to imagine that perhaps others are doing, or have done, the same to mine – should they be deemed worthy, of course. (I think they are.)

Realistically, I don’t imagine it will horrify anyone too much to ponder the possibility of strangers seeing them in their finery on the most precious day of their life, looking the best they’re ever likely to. Some may even get a little thrill at the idea of being a kind of pseudo-celebrity.

 

A Revolting Revolution?

But what about that particular person who under no circumstances you would ever invite/have invited to your wedding day? I have news: they will see/have seen you in your dress. Ditto the exchanging of the rings; the cutting of the cake; the first dance.

And there’s nothing you can do about it.

(Except maybe Facebook-stalk them right back. There’s always that. Every cloud…)

I find this thought utterly terrifying.

My fear comes from the unknown – and the extrapolation from wedding voyeurism, to that of your toddler’s birthday party; the holiday snaps of you in your bikini; and on and on.

Ultimately, these scenarios are an inevitable progression of today’s society, a situation beyond our control that has snowballed exponentially, and will continue to do so. I fear we have little choice but to roll with it. And perhaps keep in mind during future procrastination – I mean research – that we may just be invading somebody’s space.

What do you think? Should you take it as a compliment, or is this not okay? Please leave a comment!

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6 Comments

  1. I love photography so I do find myself looking at wedding photographs for photography idea’s.

    I have also been fortunate enough to photograph a few weddings too. I would say it’s a healthy voyeurism and just browsing to see how other photographs capture those special moments.

    • Kate Reply

      Hey John,

      I’m sure in most circumstances it’s totally harmless. It just spooked me a little to consider strangers looking through such intimate moments of mine, as I realised that’s exactly what I’ve been doing!

  2. I feel that if it’s posted on the internet then it’s public domain. I wouldn’t post pictures of anything that I didn’t want others seeing. I post stuff because I want to share it with others. I love photography and I do look up a lot of it for ideas in my own work. I also use images for my blogging. I type in free images of whatever I am looking for and in most cases if someone doesn’t want you using it then there will be a water mark in it. I am visiting from #bloggerclubUK

    • Kate Reply

      Hey Trista,

      I was referring more specifically to images that are set to ‘private’, but are shared by others beyond their intended audience. Or perhaps images taken by others of your personal moments, which you then have no control over. That’s what most bothers me. I have been known to be a worrier though, so maybe my concerns are not generally valid!

      I’d love to see a few more comments actually, to see the general consensus. Watch this space! ?

  3. I can definitely see your point its a little scary!! if you are happy for things to be in the public domain then thats one thing if someone else shares it without your permission thats something else. When my son was first born I sent a photo to a friend only for it to appear on FB without my knowledge, it was my baby, my 24 hour labour, my story to tell my news to celebrate yet a friend did it for me!! Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again next week x

    • Kate Reply

      Oh no, that’s dreadful (are you still friends?)! It happens all too often! X

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