When our communities decline, it is this demographic – the ones taking funeral selfies – who suffer the most. As they struggle to cope with the loss of a loved one, the closest thing to a support network they can think of is their social media community. Funeral selfies are just one symptom of a wider problem that includes general sympathy-seeking online. (For example, when someone tweets about a funeral in the same style it falls into the same category as the funeral selfie. The evidence speaks for itself here.)
Or, the way they experience the world is just different from you, grandma. Jesus. Their community isn’t less real because it’s online. They owe the world precisely jack shit, the same way you do, and just because posting about dead great-uncle Pete on Facebook seems like a bad idea to you doesn’t mean it won’t get them from one day to the next.
This isn’t about whether it’s okay to be an unimaginative attention whore, it’s about whether it’s okay to use a bunch of unimaginative attention whores to judge the way an entire generation chooses to cope. I think it’s gauche to take pictures at a funeral, but I think it’s gauche to do a lot of stuff at a funeral. Like SCREW UP THE NAME OF THE DECEASED, which the clergy/funeral director at two services I’ve been to has done. How hard is it to ask somebody how to pronounce the name of the person whose estate and/or relatives are paying for your services? Isn’t that something that should be covered during your first week on the job?
Yet nobody is out there lamenting the decline of grown-ass adults who can’t be bothered to study up a bit before the eulogy.
I think I’ve been to three funerals in my life I didn’t consider total shitshows, that didn’t further traumatize the families involved and/or actively piss anybody off. (Mr. A is under strict instructions, should I get hit by a potato chip truck, to just invite everybody over to the house and tap a keg.) They’re minefields in GENERAL, and then the grief police show up telling everybody how to deal in the most authentic manner. Fuck right off. Find something real to be outraged at, like the preventable cancer that killed the guy in the casket in the background, not the kid in the foreground being gross.