Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One of My Most Memorable Mediated Experiences

On Friday, April 29th 2011, I woke up to the Royal Wedding, well on my television of course. Thursday night, I recorded the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William on my Tivo box. Since I forgot to shut off my TV that night, in the morning, the channel automatically switched to Channel E! where they were showing live footage of The Wedding. As I opened my eyes, before I could even process what day it was, I was staring at the most magnificent church, Westminister Abbey.

I knew about the Wedding from about a month before, thanks to People and Us. From guessing what type of dress Kate Middleton might wear, to detailed stories about their relationship, I knew them better than I knew some of my friends.

After The Wedding, Kate and William were front cover of most magazines. They showed picture after picture, however, nothing did justice quite like the television. When I watched it live that Friday morning, I felt like I was there. I saw who marched with whom, I saw all the guests in their funky hats, and I saw what really went down between Pippa and Harry. In some ways, watching it on television was better than actually being there! Since I watched it on channel E!, I got all the inside scoop about the fashion, which I’m really into. They talked about the Church and who had married there prior. But what was really interesting was Kate and Williams love story, which E! briefly told us while they were marching down the aisle.

I have to admit, the main reason I recorded the wedding was probably because the whole world was doing it! I knew that the next day it was going to be the talk of the town, and I wanted to be able to get involved in the conversations. In Media, they call that the ritual model (Mass Communication, Ralph E. Hanson). Also, S. Baron says in his article What is Culture, "Culture is learned", and what better place to learn from then the Royal Wedding! Kate Middleton is now the new rolemodel of young women, and what she does and how she acts will definately be mimicked.

When I spoke about the Wedding with my friends the following day, they had a different approach on it. They thought she was underdressed and believed her sister stole the show. I couldn’t imagine where they came up with this idea from, until I read it in a magazine that night. Turns out they didn’t even watch it live on TV, their idea was completely influenced by a magazine. I told them they have a low level of media literacy and to go watch it on TV- but in a nicer way. Another reason I watched the wedding, was because I knew it was going to be a significant day in our history, and I wanted to be a part of that. When I went to London with my grandmother a couple years back, I remember walking into Harrods, a huge department store, and right near the escalator was a giant, magnificent picture of Princess Diana. Everyone who walked by placed a flower or blew a kiss. My grandmother looked at it and sighed. When I looked at her confused, she explained “It was before your day.” I was too young to appreciate Princess Diana, but Kate Middleton’s was not before my day. I’m looking forward to telling my children that I vividly remember her wedding and how I watched it, live, from my bed. The connection my grandma had with Diana, I wanted to have with Kate, and the TV made that achievable.

As strange as it may sound, I owe thanks to the TV. If it weren’t for television, I wouldn’t have been able to experience the Royal Wedding the way I did. The television made it possible for the whole world to take part in a day that will go down in history. People can hear information from news reporters, and people can read rumors in magazines, but with the television, you can become an eyewitness.

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