Love in the Time of Algorithms

Going to the Skype Chat and We’re Gonna Get Internet Married

We can't wait until the Internet can officiate, too.
This is a picture of a romantic Skype cake we found on the Internet. (Photo: bridalwave.tv

This is a picture of a romantic Skype cake we found on the Internet. (Photo: bridalwave.tv

The Internet’s already disrupted meeting and mating; why not shake up the institution of the wedding itself? The New York Times ventured out to Jackson Heights to watch an American citizen marry a man in Bangladesh via Skype. It’s apparently an increasingly common practice among some immigrant communities, as Islam in particular gives it the a-okay and it greatly simplifies the process of uniting forever with someone from the Old Country.

Hey, that’s one way to avoid a pricey New York City wedding (which average a heart-stopping $65,824 as of 2012), and who wants the bother of a destination wedding anyway?

The Times says:

“After all these advancements in technology and all kinds of telecommunication tools, scholars came to the conclusion that it is acceptable,” said the imam Shamsi Ali, of the Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens.

“Skype is making it easier,” he added. “These days you have Google Hangout, too.”

Expect this to appear in one of those treacly Google Hangout ads in 3, 2…

This does present a bit of a headache for immigration officials, who already spend plenty of time separating would-be Gérard Depardieus and Andie MacDowells. The  Times talked to one matchmaker who won’t do them anymore, after seeing too many people jilted by green-card seekers. There are also fears the practice could facilitate sex trafficking.

Also, only a few states here in the U.S. allow the practice (the marriages where one partner’s abroad technically take place in the other country), so don’t start booking any World of Warcraft caterers just yet.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com