Monday, November 18, 2013

The Internet, and How It's Changed Everything

Yesterday, I did a bit of a mini-rant about Facebook and the etiquette it often seems to demand.  Sorry about that, Facebook (and Facebook friends).  You know I love you.  And at least right now, I just can't quit you.  I can't do it.  I'm not that strong.

It's actually hard to imagine a Facebook-less, social media-less world these days.  Goodness gracious, it's hard to imagine any kind of life without the Internet.  (I just re-read that last sentence.  Yikes!  I can't believe those words are coming from a lady who likes to convince herself that she was born about 100 years too late, and fancies herself just the type of old-fashioned gal who would feel right at home in Jane Austen's world.)

My husband and I just went on-line this morning to order handcrafted, one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts for our sons that we never would have been able to find without the world wide web.  You could trek all over kingdom come (and you'd probably come home empty-handed) if you physically went in search of what we found by merely typing in a few key words, which led us to the wonderful world of Etsy and a host of other obscure sellers that offer the most interesting and unique gift items.  Shopping will never be the same.

And then there's the way the Internet has changed forever the way folks do big parties and weddings.  It offers an inexhaustible wealth of ideas for making any event that much more special and memorable.  When our boys were growing up, we might have a "theme" for their birthday parties (which was pretty much always either dinosaurs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or sports), so we'd get the paper goods and goody bags to fit the chosen theme and I'd decorate the cake accordingly.  We'd have pizza and play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, eat cake and ice cream, and that would be about it.  If we weren't doing an at-home party, we might take the pack of little boys to Chuck 'E Cheese for a treat.  When I see the kinds of birthday parties parents are throwing for their kids these days, through the blogs I read, I'm in utter awe of the creativity and work that is being put into them.  They make the parties we threw seem a little lame in comparison.  But it's so easy these days to find interesting ideas out there on the net, and then to incorporate them into your own parties.

Last night, just for the heck of it, I was sitting at my laptop and I typed in "Rehearsal Dinner ideas."  (My middle son is getting married on December 7, for those of you who are new here or who haven't visited this blog recently.)  Even though I've already got the decorations, centerpieces, and favors I worked on boxed up and ready to pack in the car for the trip down to VA (in less than 3 weeks!), I was curious to see all the great ideas I might have missed out on and would probably kick myself for not thinking of doing.  (Why do I torture myself?)  My search took me to a whole bunch of Pinterest "pins," and sure enough, I saw so many cool ideas, I could never use them all in one lifetime (unless I decided to become a professional event planner).  It's incredible how many beautiful and creative ways you can make a rehearsal dinner or a wedding that much more amazing.

When my peers (who are now called "grandmas") and I were getting married back in pioneer days 1980, we didn't have an easily accessible central source that would lead us to a multitude of great ideas, the way young brides do these days.  And we couldn't check out, with the simple click of a button, a slew of different photographers to see who would be able to best capture our big day.  In our small town, there were a couple of professional photographers to choose from.  Websites were something even the Jetsons hadn't heard of yet, so it was necessary to actually visit the photographers' studios and peruse photo albums filled with samples of their work before you signed your name on the dotted line to reserve their services.  Back then, there wasn't a whole lot of creativity going on; most of the shots were very typical--like the walk down the aisle shots, and the families and wedding party lined up on the altar shots.  Very posed and very conservative.

I must say, though, that our small town photographer managed to snap several practically Pinterest-worthy pictures--ones that he set up, with no input from the happy couple (who were just 22-year-old babes in the woods, utterly oblivious and more than happy to put the whole picture-taking responsibility completely in his hands).  I think this one, which he took as I was bobby-pinning my veil in place shortly before the bridesmaids and I left my house for the church, is rather artsy.  (Yes, I do have a bobby pin in my mouth here.)
And then there's this one from the reception--which the photographer told us was his signature favorite shot.
My husband thinks this is a ridiculous picture and he doesn't like it at all.  Whenever he looks at it, all he sees is his hairy wrist and the tux sleeve that was too short for his extra-long arm.  Nowadays when I look at it, I think to myself, "Hey, I think I've seen this exact kind of shot on Pinterest!  Our photographer was really ahead of his time!"

Okay, this post has rambled on for awhile now, and what was my point?  That the birthday parties we hosted for our sons weren't quite up to today's Pinterest standards?  That modern photographers do a better job than the ones we old dinosaurs had for our weddings?  Hmmm...

Oh, that's right: my point was that the Internet is awesome!  And I'm sure our boy's upcoming wedding, which is being planned by a super-enthusiastic and super-creative duo (his future wife and his future mother-in-law) is going to be awesome, too.  And speaking of dinosaurs, I really hope the dinosaur-crazy groom and his lovely bride will have their digital-age photographer create a Photoshop masterpiece like this one (which you've probably seen already in your cyberspace travels, right?).
Now THAT would be AWESOME.


  1. It has changed everything alot, the hardest thing is finding a balance, making certain it is a tool and you drive it, not it master you.

    1. So true!! That's why I decided not to look up Rehearsal Dinner ideas until I'd finished what I'd planned on my own...because I knew I would be overwhelmed if I saw too many good ideas. Some people can handle that sort of thing and get all energized by it, but I'm not like that. Lots of people I know are on Pinterest, but I haven't joined and I don't think I will. I already spend too much time at my laptop blogging!

    2. What I meant by "overwhelmed" is that the more neat ideas I see, the more indecisive I seem to get about what I should do. But I definitely think Pinterest is a great source of inspiration. So I say I won't join Pinterest. But I was never going to blog, or have a Facebook page, never say never, I guess. :)

  2. Love that shot .... that would be cool!

    1. I love it, too! I hope M and K ask the photographer to try to imitate it. What a funny thing to have!