“Funeral selfies,” pictures teens take of themselves at the funerals of loved ones and then share online, have recently become the subject of intense controversy. Yet it is no surprise that the next generation has turned to social media friends-of-friends networks for comfort in the absence of strong, traditional support networks.
Some have been quick to resign humanity to its new funeral selfie fate. Regardless of whether you agree that the funeral selfie is here to stay, it is important to understand how our society got to this point in the first place.
As someone who lost her father as a teen, I know from personal experience that it is near impossible to endure such a loss at a young age without the support of others. Traditionally, extended families, neighborhoods, churches or religious organizations, and even tight-knit school and work communities would come together to lend the support of a group in solidarity to its grieving individuals. Group support is especially crucial for young adults, who benefit most from the help of those who are more mature and have experienced loss.
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