In the interest of full disclosure, I have texted from a funeral. I sat by myself in the last pew, at least five rows away from anyone else. I was texting my girlfriend two states away who couldn’t attend. I figured if I didn’t disturb anyone and God didn’t strike me dead, my good intentions were sufficient to justify my behavior.
But I have to admit that when I read Matthew Ingram’s article What I Learned While Live-Tweeting a Friend’s Funeral on Gigaom.com that it gave me pause.
Ingram felt that live-tweeting was a tribute to his friend, a long-time user of Twitter who was interested in social technology. He also felt it fit his friend’s sense of humor, and the family agreed. And the funeral was already being live-streamed online.
There have been instances before of reporters texting and tweeting from funerals they’re covering. Is that worse than filming? Is tweeting different than taking notes by hand?
As you might imagine, the comments on Gigaom were passionate on both sides of the appropriateness of Ingram’s actions. “Disrespectful” and “Brilliant” were typical responses, and everything in between.
What do you think?
Is nothing sacred? Are we truly obsessed with sharing online?
Or is Twitter an opportunity for friends and family around the world to connect to the final tribute for someone they love?