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The Selfie and the Sacred

Posted on: August 1st, 2014 by Amy

What happens when a young woman tweets a picture of her smiling self from one of the world’s most famous concentration camps?  The Internet explodes in anger.


Breanna Mitchell says she was taking and posting the photo in memory of her father, who had passed away exactly one year earlier and from whom she’d inherited a love of World War II history. Read one blogger’s response to the incident and choose from the questions below to spark a discussion.


Questions best suited for age 10 and up

What do you think of Breanna’s choice to take and share this photo at a place where so many people were killed?

Does it make a difference that she said she did it to honor her deceased father?

What does the term “sacred” mean to you? Have you ever been to a sacred place, or are there sacred places that you go to regularly?

Do you agree or disagree that young people need to develop what the author calls, “A digital decorum.” If no, why not? If yes, what might that look like?

What do you think of selfies in general?

Has anyone ever reacted negatively to a selfie you’ve posted? What happened?

The author of this article also cites the uproar by some people in response to the book/movie The Fault in Our Stars and the kiss that happens in Anne Frank’s home. Do you agree or disagree with those who find that scene disrespectful?