Social Network Users Divided on the Royal Wedding

A.B. (April 29, 2011)
It was mentioned 67 times a second on Twitter and 74 times a second on Facebook. More than a million people posted status updates about it. What some Italian users had to say

The topic doesn't need any introduction, Prince William and Kate Middleton were bonded in Holy Matrimony this morning in Westminster Abbey and are now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Traditional TV was the most popular channel for following the event, but it is undeniable that the first royal wedding of the social network era was hot stuff on Facebook and Twitter.

It was mentioned 67 times a second on Twitter and 74 times a second on Facebook. More than a million people posted status updates about the wedding on the latter. Numbers don't lie, the wedding chatter surpassed that for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.  Furthermore, despite the time difference, almost two million Americans were part of the social-network discussion.

However on Facebook, reactions to the event were as heterogenous as the people populating it. Diana Hlaic, 35, from Rome, office clerk with a past in event planning, was following a streaming live video broadcast on the internet while cross-commenting with girlfriends on Facebook both in Italy and the United States. “I watched it because I was fond of Princess Diana, an unparalleled kind and compassionate Royal Family member; I wanted to see her reflected in her son's eyes,” she admitted. She continued explaining how conversely she has a limited interest for the algid Queen Elizabeth. “To see her witnessing -probably in horror- her grandson marrying a commoner, galvanized my sense of satisfaction on multiple levels.”

Andrea Lodovichetti, 35, filmmaker from Fano, was not as enthusiastic. “I don’t want to know about the color of the bride’s underwear in a 6 hours live broadcast. Not now.  It is question of respect.” He spoke of what he believes should be topics of media attention: Libya, the North African unrest, the nuclear crisis, and if you are in Italy pressing domestic questions such as increasing unemployment rate, tax evasion, and the unsteady government. “There is no doubt that it was an historic event and I respect that somebody felt really excited about it, but I can't accept that every media outlet focused all day on the British Royal Family.” “By the way: I didn’t like Kate’s wedding gown,” he didn't miss to mention.
Massimiliano Meoni, 39, stylist and blogger from Pistoia, said he felt the $68 million price tag for the event was "inappropriate" in a moment of local and global economical austerity. "Moreover," he noted "not far from all this parade of silly hats and impeccable uniforms, there are people who are suffering, who are in situation of political unrest, who are literally being bombed; this level of frivolousness is unacceptable."

But for Florentine Olivia Lentucci,  now an adopted Newyorker, 30, advertising manager in a culinary magazine, this morning ceremony was not such a nefarious affair. “I followed the wedding because I wanted to give energy to a positive event. Media seems to have a passion for disasters and tragedies, it felt truly nice to witness an uplifting story.” “Maybe I am too romantic,” she smiled. “And yes, the dress was glorious!”