Selfie Etiquette

Selfies are pretty ubiquitous these days. Everyone seems to be snapping away everywhere you go. Although they’ve become an accepted part of our society, there is still some etiquette that should be observed. Here’s when and where it’s not OK to snap.

A Funeral

There have been numerous arguments about this one. Generally speaking, taking a selfie at a funeral is in poor taste. Most people view a funeral as a solemn occasion and somehow the idea of a selfie seems disrespectful and frivolous.

Yes, you may look cool behind the wheel as you cruise down the road, but for obvious safety reasons, skip the selfie.

Now for the caveat: some people have posted selfies of themselves alone in a pensive pose with a heartfelt sentiment or post written in honor of the deceased. Amazingly these selfies were tasteful, and they worked. Unfortunately, most don’t. So avoid it.

An Accident

Never take a selfie at the scene of an accident, unless it’s your own minor fender bender. Recently, there was a hilarious post of an elderly couple who had flipped their car on its side. Luckily, neither was hurt. The husband made it out, but the wife was still trapped inside. While she waited for help, she snapped a selfie. Other than a situation like that, don’t take a selfie at an accident scene—especially someone else’s.

Any Sensitive Moment

Use your personal judgment on this one. You can usually tell when and where it’s appropriate to take a selfie. If you’re not sure, then err on the side of caution and don’t take that picture.

Sacred Sites

When teens take selfies in front of places like Auschwitz, the 9/11 Memorial, or former disaster sites like Chernobyl, it’s in poor taste. Yes, some teens (and adults) want to document their presence there, but like funeral selfies, there’s just something viscerally wrong about it.

When in a Public Restroom

We all know that privacy is a thing of the past, but there should be some semblance of it in a public restroom. If it’s just you alone in there, then by all means, snap away. But if others are nearby, don’t put them in a potentially embarrassing or compromising position.

While Driving

Yes, you may look cool behind the wheel as you cruise down the road, but for obvious safety reasons, skip the selfie. Just think—it could be the last picture you ever take. Don’t risk it.