The Internet Attempts to Get Personal

Posted by Erika Owen

The private sector of life has progressively become more and more public as technology has advanced. Sharing news is no longer an evening event where the family crowds around the television. Log on to Twitter or Facebook to catch up on the latest news in Libya or to find out where and when your grandmother cut her hair. Are some events too private to be publicized?

 There are some things that are considered private for a reason. The death of a friend or family member provokes emotions that we don’t usually reveal in public. On the other hand, we all love a good wedding, but that’s because we don’t attend them all of the time, and being invited is something very exciting and put aside for special friends and family members. Making these public events could very well take away the personal emotions we feel toward the people involved.

The Royal Wedding Channel. Photo courtesy of

Joyous events, such as weddings, are making their appearance on the Internet—and not as photo albums or videos posted weeks after the event. With the Royal Wedding coming up, people are making all possible

schedule adjustments to view the historical event as it’s happening. Various news sites will be live streaming this event, such as E!. Is inviting the entire world to your wedding a good thing? There are guest lists for a reason, and to me, it seems that a wedding that large can only bring criticism that could possibly dampen the monumental event in the couple’s life together. Could the Internet be breaking down the personal aspect of our most important relationships?

Funerals have been a family affair in all senses. Not only are they a time for grieving, but they also stand for closure. Can a family member find closure while watching a burial on a computer screen? Companies such as Online-Funeral are making funerals available to view post-event online. Distance is no longer an issue—hop onto the funeral home’s website, and you can view the burial online. Is this crossing a very thin line between morbid and convenient?

 Is the Internet taking it too far this time? Whether you’re viewing a celebrity’s personal life with just the click of a button, or saying goodbye to a loved one from behind a computer screen, it seems like this technology is taking the meaning and emotion out of two of life’s most important events.


7 responses to “The Internet Attempts to Get Personal

  1. Funerals online? I’m sorry but that’s just awful. I’ve said it once on a previous post and I’ll say it once more, humans need personal contact. It is in our nature and especially in times of grief or sorrow we depend on that human connection to heal. (I really can’t say I disagree with the wedding broadcasts. I’m completely obsessed with WE TV wedding Sunday after all…)

  2. Kelly Hendricks

    I definitely think all of this is going to far. The idea of funerals and weddings online is just absurd to me! People need to learn when to keep their lives private.

  3. I completely agree! Lindsay Dressen wrote an article for DrakeMag about online funerals (among other things) and the details were creepy. I just think that this is taking the lack of human interaction too far.

  4. I agree with you all—this is taking it way too far. Although it might be valuable for loved ones who can’t make it. Funerals might be a little strange, but I think it would be great for family overseas or far away to be able to see a wedding. Skype or live streaming a wedding for loved ones doesn’t seem too weird, but it’s not something that should be broadcast to the masses.

  5. Hmm…I don’t know how I feel about watching a funeral of a private individual. It seems it would be different for someone of national merit but what is the line?

  6. Lindsay Dressen

    I agree with you guys, when I was writing my article for Drake Mag about Online-Funeral it made me think when does privacy ever come into play? There is a reason for an invitation as you mentioned Erika, why does America insist to know every detail and to even view it for themselves?

  7. As someone who lost two family members this semester, the idea of being able to see a funeral via a live stream online is something I would definitely have been interested. When my grandpa passed away I was unable to attend the funeral because he lived in Florida. A plane flight from Iowa to Florida isn’t exactly cheap. When my aunt passed in Ohio again I was unable to attend again to due to school obligations. If there was a way to make these funerals private access only via a password or some other tool I would almost certainly have used it during this semester.

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