As far as the disconcerting postmodern trend known as the #selfie is concerned, the experts have yet to come to any kind of consensus. Loosely defined as “a self-portrait taken on a mobile device and posted to social media, often featuring duckface,” the #selfie is in the eyes of some an indefensible expression of vanity. Others think it can be a healthy, even empowering expression of young female subjectivity (I will discuss this further next week), while yet others are willing to evaluate #selfies on a case-by-case basis. But if there’s one basic tenet I think we all can agree on, it’s that there’s a time and a place for #selfies, and a dead person’s funeral is not it.
I was first apprised of the existence of #funeralselfies by my friend Jess, who is so good at the internet I’m surprised it hasn’t yet offered to marry her. An exploration of the #funeral hashtag reveals scores of people who have yet to grasp the basic concept that a memorial service is about neither you, your shoes, nor the number of followers you can get by loading your photo down with as many hashtags as possible. I tried to omit anyone who seemed to be documenting genuine sadness, although I realize everyone processes grief differently. Perhaps making sexyface and obtaining “likes” is the only way these folks are able to continue slogging through the #onerous, #throbbing, #gruesome #pain #of #existenz.
All photos via public Instagram posts