It's a well worn cliche that anyone under the age of 45 has no idea how to access any functionality on their smartphone. Reach the dizzy heights of people in their late 50's and things like cut and paste or attaching an image, are right up there with discovering the double helix structure of DNA...make it your 70's and switching the thing on, is a bloody miracle. So, when it comes to the idea of asking senior citizens to make their father of the bride speech by Zoom, is this fair, ethical or indeed, advisable?
All too frequently these days we hear stories about cars being driven the wrong way up some of Britain's busiest motorways, their trail of carnage pursued by Police until they're brought to a stop in a blizzard of flashing light, broken glass and wholesale hysteria. For the casual observer, this would almost certainly be the work of some errant, disenfranchised youth in nylon clothing, who hasn't been cuddled enough. However, it's always the result of 'Eric' aged 80, who pops out to the shops to get some luncheon meat, and 4 hours later finds himself playing chicken with articulated lorries from Poland.
You only need to extrapolate that scenario from the hard shoulder of the Preston Bypass to the super slick medium of digital communications, to see that the potential for complete disaster is enormous. Being remote from the guests adds to that recipe for complete disaster, because physical detachment will only enhance the belief that nobody can hear them.
The very act of connecting to a Zoom call will undoubtedly throw up a few curve balls as they connect to the mass Zoom call without realising it, and friends and families are treated their expletive laden rants about computers. Before you know it, Granddad will be casually insulting his new son in law's parents, and commenting on how fat everyone looks on the computer screen. The best outcome is for this all to prove too much, and with the aid of a few celebratory drinks, they gently fall in and out of dozes.
So, fathers in law across the land, need our help. They need somebody there to make sure that they connect correctly, that they look at the camera and not at the bottom of the screen, and most importantly that they realise how to mute a microphone. For many nervous fathers of the bride, this digital innovation will be just what they've been waiting for to take them out of the pressure cooker wedding breakfast...just make sure they don't go from that straight into the frying pan.