Is It OK to Take a Selfie at a Funeral? (Do I Really Have to Answer That?)

First off, I don’t plan to push a political agenda on this blog partly because I believe that avoiding political discussions in social situations, like the ones I discuss here, is generally wise.

But I have one thought about funerals and selfies, whether you’re the Head of State or not: No.

This may sounds strange, but I do understand the desire to take a photo during times like these. When I’ve attended funerals that reunited me with family, there were some definite non-mourning aspects of the visit, which I think are necessary and healthy. Funerals are so sad, but they also give you a chance to see people you haven’t seen in forever — friends, family, and even important political figures you’re friendly with, in some instances. You can catch up, see how their kids have grown, reminisce and even laugh a little.

That’s a long way of saying: I can see how you would want to capture a photo of this.

My advice: Capture that photo when you aren’t at the memorial service or the funeral. (That said, I think this article on the context of the above photo is worth reading.)

And in general: Use an extremely light hand with social media during times of mourning. A string of happy Instagram photos and a bunch of dour tweets following a loved one’s death puts your followers in an uncomfortable situation regarding how to respond.

Just step away from the social media for a little while.

Photo source: Obama’s Funeral Selfie: This Is Why Context Matters

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