Selfies at funerals? Have some respect!

It’s been all over the news, Barack Obama and various other world leaders – who one would have thought would know better – taking a second in the proceedings at the memorial service for one of the greatest men who ever lived, to take a quick selfie. Just this sentence sounds utterly ridiculous! I can’t believe that three grown adults, and those who lead some pretty powerful countries, would not have the restraint to realise that this is completely inappropriate.

Now previously, I have found the whole funeral selfie idea pretty funny in its ridiculousness, and I’m sure that Nelson Mandela would have seen the funny side, but the fact that this was the memorial service to celebrate all that Mandela had achieved and fought for in his lifetime, I just feel that it was a bit wrong to be treating it so lightly. Obama must surely understand the significance of this death and how it has touched people all over the world – so why does he think that creating a mockery of the event that has been organised to pay homage to him is right? His behaviour was embarrassing, as I’m sure his wife agreed, and he should be ashamed of himself. I don’t care if the memorial had a bright atmosphere or anything, this was a time to pay respect to a great man and everything he stood for on behalf of your nation – not a time to update your Instagram.

The whole idea of a funeral selfie seems so bizarre, but is clearly a sign of the times and the changes that have happened thanks to the significant advancements in technology in my lifetime.The introduction of Instagram really has influenced our behaviour and has caused us to take photos of every moment, from brushing our teeth in the morning, to the token lunch pic and finally our tired eyes before bed – why on earth?! It is just plain stupid – but I know I am just as guilty of it as anyone! But now it seems that a trend has developed where individuals are taking funeral selfies of themselves looking sad and hashtagging #RIP – is this actually a joke? Your grandparents have just died and your first instinct is to take a selfie of you looking mock-sad? What planet are people on?!

Technology has clearly changed people’s sensitivity to such subjects and has changed the way they react to them – whereas when I was growing up we would relate such things to our families and react off the reactions of others, now you are more likely to hear news via a Facebook or Twitter update. With Instagram you’ll get constant picture updates, more than likely of the sad face, the outfit choice and even the buffet table at the funeral. Astonishing really. As much as I can’t stand the idea of these funeral selfies, I can’t help but find them funny because of how utterly ridiculous they are…

Check out this blog that has a selection of the best ones!


2 responses to “Selfies at funerals? Have some respect!

  1. Sorry but I have to disagree with you. It wasn’t a funeral (that is one Sunday) – it was a memorial celebration of Mandela’s life. According to news outlets there was a festive atmosphere to the event, people were dancing, relaxed, it wasn’t strict and formal. You have to remember these are people too. You might be interested in reading the background from the photographer himself –

    • Yes, I had actually read that blog before writing this, but I can’t help but disagree with it still – I am aware that this was not the funeral, that is why I had said that it was the memorial service – I was just talking more generally about taking selfies at funerals which I think are ridiculous. I understand that these are people too, but their primary role is as a world leader and I firmly believe that no matter what the festive atmosphere (as I had made reference to in the post) that a certain level of decorum was to be expected from all of these leaders as representatives of their countries. That is the important point – that at this memorial service they were not representing themselves as people, but their nations as a whole and most people I have spoken to have agreed that a ‘selfie’ had no place at this event. I understand where you are coming from, but I just think it is sad that people cannot refrain from actions that are just silly at the memorial service for such a great man.. In my culture we treat funerals and memorials as a celebration of life and moving on to the next so I can appreciate a festive atmosphere at such an occasion, but since when does a ‘selfie’ have a place at such an event?
      Thank you for your comments

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