Funeral selfies; have we crossed the line?
Is it acceptable to your selfie with world as it happens? How does the grieving family feel about it?
Remember when President Obama was caught on camera at Nelson Mandela’s service? In defense of the President, some said, it really wasn’t a funeral service per se. Nonetheless, most agreed that it wasn’t the right thing to do–especially with a smile.
If the President of the United States can do it…
I’ll admit; I took a picture of my grandfather as he laid in the casket. Naturally I waited until everyone had left the chapel. As you can imagine, not everyone would have understood or agreed with my action. I kept the picture for my eyes only. I also played his two favorite songs on the church piano. Was it wrong? They were upbeat and happy songs. It was my way of expressing my emotions…sharing something with him, one last time. Yes, some found it to be disrespectful. But I knew my grandfather; he loved those songs.
A funeral selfie doesn’t shock me, nor am I necessarily against it. Funeral Costs and expenses tend to ride high, and to be honest, that combined with the grief experienced by family members, I do not think anyone would have the time to be bothered by someone taking a selfie or two. That being said, I do recommend that you consider your relationship with the deceased, how the family feels about it, and your purpose. Posing next to the deceased or showing yourself draped over their body might be pushing it a bit. Not the most respectful thing to do.
Things to consider when taking funeral selfies:
- Don’t take photos during the service.
- Don’t take photos during the most solemn moments.
- Don’t take photos if you’re freaking out or laughing.
- Don’t include others without their permission.
- Don’t take photos if you were asked to refrain by the deceased person’s family.
- Choose carefully what you say and #.
- Consider posting it later.
There are time-honored traditions that are worth keeping, or at least considering. It also comes down to considering those around you–is it necessary for you to post? Will it hurt others? Can it wait?
Here’s an article about the “selfie phenomenon.”
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Photo source: The Wisdom Daily.com