Like the proverbial question regarding the tree in the forest, the wedding between bloggers/writers Peter Suderman (@petersuderman) and Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) raises the question: if bloggers marry and it’s not discussed on Twitter, did it really happen?
Fortunately, the blogger-set who attended the wedding this weekend have filled out the details of the nuptials, conveniently inviting us along via the hashtag #McSudleman. Inevitably, the twitterfest at the Cosmos Club has also led to some navel-gazing about the appropriateness of tweeting a wedding and reception.
The couple–who write for Reason and The Atlantic–invited the who’s who of D.C.’s libertarian and social media “hot-list,” including the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent and Firedoglake, Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, Reason’s Kerry Howley, Center for American Prospect’s Matt Yglesias and the Media Consortium’s Brian Beutler.
From reading the tweets, it looked like people were tweeting (and networking) from the moment they walked into the event until they left for the afterparty, the location of which was also tweeted.
Timothy Lee, who is filling in for McArdle while the couple is off honeymooning–can I suggest #McSudlemoon as a hasthtag–says he doesn’t find anything wrong with all the twittering since it didn’t take away from the festivities.
Lee, a tech policy geek at Cato, says:
I think social media actually adds to the richness of a large social gathering like a wedding reception. Real-world interaction is sharply limited in time and space. I only got to sit with 9 other people, and I could only have a conversation with one person at a time. The #mcsudleman hashtag wasn’t so limited. It allowed effortless communication with every (sufficiently nerdy) person who was interested in the wedding, whether there were 10 or 1000 such people. This creates a global conversation to supplement the many local ones. Tweets sometimes became real-life conversation topics.
The inevitable question is whether the D.C. blogger set who have few unblogged thoughts were tweeting to be social or because their fingers were twitching to touch the keyboard. Thankfully, no one was tweeting during the service itself and the wedding wasn’t in a church (I think there’s a real social breach in tweeting during a religious service [which this was] in a place of worship [which it wasn’t]).
As Lee points out, the happy couple encouraged the tweeting and they can’t expect the bloggerati to attend an event without commenting and analyzing it.
Still, it does make you nostalgic for the day before cell phones, handheld devices, and wifi where people actually sat and talked, not relying on their iPhones and Blackberrys to fill the void when the person next to you got boring or you lost interest in an event.
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