Obama selfie at Mandela memorial is the Internet's latest obsession

If you thought Pope Francis taking a selfie could not have been topped, think again. US President Barack Obama has participated in what can only be described


If you thought Pope Francis taking a selfie could not have been topped, think again. US President Barack Obama has participated in what can only be described as the father of all selfies along with the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron and his Danish counterpart, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. The selfie of the year was shot at – wait for it – Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.

We’ll give you a minute or two to digest the series of, “Whoa, dudes!” this has thrown up here. Some of the top leaders of the world, sitting together, clicking a selfie at a memorial service for one of the most respected leaders in the world. To make matters worse, Michelle Obama looks magnitudes less cheerful than Obama and co. So it was obvious, when AFP photographer, Roberto Schmidt, clicked this candid moment, there were bound to be some extreme reactions to this.

Obama selfie at Mandela memorial is the Internet's latest obsession

Cool? Not cool? (Image credit: AFP)

 

For those of you who’ve been living under a rock since the past couple of years, a selfie is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website,” according to the Oxford Dictionaries. That venerable publication has declared it the word of the year for 2013, with its usage in the English language jumping over 17,000 percent since last year. However, that still doesn't absolve the troika.

"There should be a moratorium on 'selfies' during memorials and funerals, no?" tweeted @JeffryHalverson and @Doc_0 said, "Next year, Obama will mark the anniversary of Mandela's passing with a picture of himself looking at the selfie he took at the funeral.” Even while social networks were throwing themselves into a tizzy over the arguably the most high-profile selfie, the owner of the controversial blog “Selfies at Funerals” has decided to call it quits.

“Obama has taken a funeral selfie, so our work here is done,” he wrote. He did go on to mention that the selfie was not taken at a funeral technically, but at Mandela’s memorial service, However, that does not take away a lot from the image.

Then again, a lot of people asked if a lot was being made out of a non issue. While most in the west and here in India would think, funerals or memorial services are very sombre occasions. However, things were quite different at Madiba’s memorial service. The occasion was actually a four-hour-long affair full of song, dance and colour, celebrating the life and times of Mandela. Is this selfie then even such a big deal?

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