Why I ranted about the Google Glass bride
Earlier this morning, I read something in Mashable about a bride who walked down the aisle wearing Google Glass.
“My husband and I have a love for technology. We wanted to use Google Glass to capture the most intimate moment of our lives,” [Jessica] Kuan said in an emailed statement. “All my friends told me they were so emotional that they actually forgot walking down the aisle. This was an experience I never want to forget.”
Well, I couldn’t forget it either, but for a different reason. I ended up posting a rant on Facebook.
When I was married, my big innovation was to ask the organist to play “Now the Green Blade Riseth.” I didn’t ask my bride to be to parade down the aisle accompanied by a Macintosh Plus, or with a VHS camera. And I do not feel deprived by the fact that we do not have a “bride’s eye view” of our wedding. And, as a bonus, my wife’s eyes are unobscured in our wedding pictures.
Rant composed and posted, I then paused for a moment. Am I being unreasonable? Isn’t this just another way of capturing what a wedding photographer does? Did my 1913 ancestor rant and rave about people bringing cameras into weddings?
After thinking about it, I decided that my negative opinion of this innovation is justified, since – if I may use a photography term here – it shifts the focus of the wedding.
Even if you consider a wedding in the secular sense of a contractual obligation between two people, a wedding is a union of (in my country, at this time) two people, witnessed by society. While there are individual elements in the ceremony, the emphasis is on the union between the two people, and not on other things.
Yes, there was a photographer at my wedding, but at my wedding – as is true in most weddings – the majority of photographs were taken after the ceremony was over. Why is that? Because the photographer did not wish to distract from the ceremony itself.
Google Glass distracts from the ceremony. Until the photos are edited, Jessica Kuan’s right eye will be partially obscured by a box. It’s the same as if the photographer at my own wedding chose to wear a bright red suit.
Would I feel differently if Google Glass were not visible? Not necessarily, because much of the distraction has nothing to do with the way that Kuan looked. While I’ll grant that the reaction may be different among those who know Kuan and her husband, her wedding – either a secular contract within society, or a religious ceremony representing a covenant – has been reduced to the level of technological gadget discussion.
And corporate publicity:
The video was part of “Ok Glass, I do,” a collaborative project between wearable-technology research firm Vandrico and Jess Sloss, a communications consultant with the company. It aims to “showcase, and provide commentary on, the impact that the increasing prevalence of wearable technology has on our culture,” Sloss told Mashable.
Again, I wonder if the focus is misplaced.