Anticipating the virtual wedding

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Today’s Globe & Mail features a story about the “iPad bridesmaid”: the woman who attended her friend’s wedding via iPad. Since Renee Armstrong couldn’t make it the wedding in person, a groomsman carried an iPad to which she was connected via FaceTime (Apple’s videoconferencing system for the iPad). Globe reporter Tralee Pearce called me for comment on the story:

The spectre of a wedding where all the guests are appearing via computer is enough to startle even the most savvy social-media observers. Still, with everyone from the corporate world to grandparents embracing video-conferencing, perhaps the iPad wedding guest will become commonplace too, says Alexandra Samuel, the director of the Social and Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver.

“It’s hard for me to see it becoming a widespread phenomenon,” says Dr. Samuel. “But so far, nobody’s gone wrong by betting on the normalization of what initially seems like a really weird technology use.”

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