A couple met in college, reconnected on a dating app years later, and eventually got married. The wife-to-be was not a fan of pomp. She always imagined a suitor’s wedding proposal to be a romantic and intimate affair. The husband-to-be was a little more extroverted, but happy to oblige. He just knew that she was the one. When they planned a romantic getaway to a romantic island he knew it was the perfect opportunity to pop the big question.
The husband-to-be loved technology. An early adopter as they say. On this trip he happened to bring his latest toy – a drone. One early evening they went for a long walk along the hilly shoreline. He brought along the drone. It hovered above them at a safe distance, covering them and a large chunk of the surrounding area. Eventually they reached a natural resting point – scenic lookout, benches, a small crowd of like-minded couples. The husband-to-be made up a little lie about losing control of the drone, shifting his wife-to-be’s attention to the thing. After a few moments she turned back to see her husband-to-be down on one knee, ring in hand, proposing marriage. She enthusiastically accepted. The drone captured everything.
The couple shared the video with close friends and relatives over the next few days. Then they stored it away electronically and never looked at it again. Over the next few years, in good times and bad, the husband and wife independently thought about that early evening. Their mental image colored by what they later saw on the drone footage. A memory of what they saw on video and not the event itself. Which came first, the means to photo-document everything, or our desire to have everything documented for some future that will never come? We have a natural inclination to document everything, but no desire to go back and look at the record. A history created and shaped by media without an audience to consume it.