Funeral home "selfies" becoming a trend - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Funeral home "selfies" becoming a trend

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Selfies are everywhere. They're Facebook, Instagram  and Tumblr. The word 'selfie' was even named Oxford Dictionary's word of the year in 2013.

As with many trends, some people attempt to one-up each other for bragging rights on the most creative or bizarre selfie. But does a selfie with a deceased person in the background take it too far?

Austin brooks is owner of a funeral home in Hueytown. He says twenty years ago, a selfie with a corpse would have been unacceptable.
  
"It would definitely not been taken well by the public because the funeral itself is considered sacred. So for someone to come in and start taking pictures back then would have been unheard of," he said.    

Selfies with a deceased friend are called "corpsies". Brooks admits it's a trend he's noticed among his younger visitors.

"I guess they do it for the memory. They want to have that memory of their friend, or I guess to cope with that person's death."

It's what young people do with the selfies that has sparked even more controversy.

"They want to display the picture somewhere like on facebook or instagram to show other people that they saw the body, they saw their friend or knew that person," said Brooks.

Pages such as "selfies at funerals" on tumblr have been the topic of debate. Some call it morbid. Others see no problem with it. Brooks says  above all, consider the family.

"I wouldn't want to see my loved one's picture on facebook in a casket. And a lot of times it will disturb the family. I they see their loved one on social media they will get upset about that."

With that said, Brooks believes it's up to the funeral home business to keep up with social changes.

"Back 25 years ago when cell phones were really evolving there weren't any camera phone are smart phones where you could even take pictures. The funeral home business has to evolve as technology evolves."

Brooks says the best thing to do is ask the family of the deceased before taking pictures and posting them on social media.

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