I loathe receiving e-vites. They are tacky and I refuse to acknowledge their place in the world. In fact, anything with an 'e-' at the front is bound to irk me. I will not open your e-card, I will not laugh at your e-joke, I will not take your e-degree seriously, I will unsubscribe from your e-newsletter and I hate eBay. E-mail is fine, I suppose.
All in all, I tolerate the advancement of technology. I'll download your wedding app, and I'll probably participate in the live-tweeting of your Bar Mitzvah. But you know what I will not do? I will not, under any circumstances, electronically attend your funeral.
I had never heard of an e-funeral until I was e-vited to one this morning. For the first time, the graphics weren't the saddest part. The saddest part was - equally - finding out about the death of an acquaintance, and finding out that e-funerals are a thing.
When my shock subsided, I Googled.
My research revealed that a few years ago, a group of morbid computer geeks decided to capitalise on the business of death. And by goodness, are they going to die rich men.
What happens is a camera is set up in the chapel, and the service is live-streamed to a website through specifically designed software. Then, in case that's not disturbing enough, the family can buy the video for a low, low price of their soul and relive the day whenever they want to feel really bad about life.
The morbid computer geeks didn't stop there though. The family can also set up a website for the deceased, which acts as an e-tribute platform. There is a family tree, a guest book and a donation collection tab, because crowdfunding shouldn't stop at hipster cafes and short films.
In all fairness though, once I settled down, I did start to see the benefits of e-funerals. Foremost, it allows friends and relatives who aren't able to attend the service physically the chance to be included in the ritual. It also allows people to attend the funeral in their underwear, which is not even funny and I'm so sorry for bringing it up.
The disrespect factor does bear mentioning, though. As if you'd wear your smart casual, conservative blacks if you were tuning in from home. Chances are you'd be watching from bed, laptop resting on your stomach, and your fingers would be shaking with the temptation of split-screening with something less depressing. And let's face it, you probably would split-screen, then feel eternally bad about yourself. I wonder if you can pause for snack breaks?
In the midst of my Google investigation, I called my mum and told her that if I happen to die before her, she is not to allow my funeral to be live-streamed. Live-tweeted, maybe, but definitely not live-streamed. I want all of my family and friends to physically attend, because the part where I burst out of my coffin and proclaim that it was all a hoax will be underwhelming if watched online. And knowing my multi-tasking friends, they'd have me in audio-only whilst they trawl Twitter and update their Tumblrs. Mum said she'd see to it.
Also, imagine being filmed at a funeral. Remembering your best side is hard enough in a rational state of mind, let alone when you're all vulnerable and weepy and questioning your existence.
Oh, modern life. What ever will you e-shock me with next?Suggest a correction