You might be asking yourself, what? No way! But you’re oh so wrong. Did you know that a whopping third of all funeral attendees admit to taking selfies at funerals? According to The Telegraph, this is a very real and relevant trend that has taken mourning by storm. Additionally, according to The Telegraph, less than one-third of those who did take selfies at funerals did so to remember the day. So why the heck are they doing it? And should we accept it, or be totally offended and mildly disgusted? Not surprisingly, the people who take part in this off-putting trend are young people. Regardless of whether you love, hate, or don’t care about this trend, we’re going to break down why people are doing it.
1. People do it to gain sympathy
Social media is all about getting attention, and seeking reassurance and interaction from others. This is the most obvious reason for people falling subject to this phenomenon. So people who need some extra attention, sympathy, or condolences will post their funeral selfies on social media to get just that. Especially teenagers in middle school and high school who feel the need to share everything with their peers will post these kinds of pictures to get attention. Attention seekers, in particular, will post their funeral selfies to get people to feel sorry for them. We’re not judging these people whatsoever because a need for a little extra attention happens to the best of us.
2. People do it to be humorous.
Some people turn to social media to show off their comedic talents or to attempt to be funny. So why not make light of an uncomfortable and depressing situation? And not to be cruel, but if you weren’t particularly close with the deceased, it’s a lot easier to make fun of the morbid situation. And not to be cruel again, but honestly, a funeral is a pretty ideal situation for some twisted and dark humor to come out. And as the saying goes, if you don’t laugh, you cry, right?
3. People do it because selfies happen anytime, everywhere.
Everyone and anyone around the world take selfies nearly every single day of the week, so naturally, maybe that includes some at funerals. There’s arguably no time or place where taking a selfie is inappropriate anymore, as sad or as ridiculous as that sounds. And honestly, unless you make it very clear in your caption that you’re at a funeral, most people wouldn’t know what occasion you’re taking your picture at. If you’re dressed up, which at a funeral you will be, then why not take a picture of yourself looking good? There’s no handbook or guide to where and when you can take selfies at, so who’s to say that taking them at a funeral is wrong? Is it any more wrong than taking a selfie at a wedding, a birth, or something else monumental like that? Obviously, funerals are much more serious, morbid, and sensitive than the previously mentioned events, but just to put it in comparison.
4. People do it to escape the sadness of the day.
Death is such a sad, extreme, and sensitive experience. Much of the time, experiencing the death of a loved one can feel crippling, depressing and lead to a lot of anxiety. So when someone is so overwhelmed, sometimes they turn to simple, maybe even silly things to escape and make them feel normal. This can obviously include being on your phone to connect with social media, and taking selfies. It might sound silly and weird, but since social media and selfies are so ingrained in our culture, it only makes sense that maybe taking a selfie and posting it gives us a sense of normalcy again. Checking to see the comments and likes provide some much needed distraction from the craziness of the day.
5. People do it to remember the day and honor the dead.
This might be hard to believe, but some people could take selfies at a funeral to pay homage to the deceased and to remember the day. I imagine that the people who would mainly do this is young teens, such as middle school and high schoolers. This age group arguably has less social etiquette and social intuitions than older people, so they could think taking a selfie at a funeral is a perfectly acceptable way to honor the deceased. And honestly, in this day in age, who is anyone to say how someone should honor the dead and deal with death in general? Additionally, it’s becoming normal to take pictures at funerals, in general, to remember and celebrate the deceased, and obviously, selfies are pictures, so what’s wrong with that?
6. People do it because they’re bored.
Let’s be completely honest, sometimes there’s no other explanation for taking a selfie besides the fact that you’re totally freaking bored. And not to be insensitive, but more times than not funerals are just flat out boring. Obviously, you probably won’t get bored at someone’s funeral that you’re extremely close to, but your grandma’s step son’s uncle’s funeral is quite a different story.
7. People might be flat out insensitive.
Okay, so this article has been mainly in defense of why people would take a selfie at a funeral, but there is one last option. Maybe the person is just genuinely flat out insensitive and has no other reason or motive to snap their picture other than the fact that they only don’t care about the occasion.