Social media is so much a part of our everyday lives now that it is not uncommon to post about death on social media. The question becomes should there be a certain etiquette that comes with posting about death on different social media platforms.
Announcing a Death
Announcing a death on social media is a fairly easy way to get the information out to those who need it quickly. When announcing a death it is best to do it in a simple informative manner. This may be the first time distant family and friends are hearing about it. Leave out the extensive details and allow for friends to take in the news at their own pace.
Do’s When Posting about a Death on Social Media
- Respect the family and those closest to the deceased
- Be respectful with your words about the deceased
- Do keep things simple without sharing too many details about the death.
- Make sure close friends and family have been informed before posting.
Responding with Condolences
What is the appropriate way to respond when someone on your social media feed has announced the death of a friend or family member? This is another area to tread lightly. You may not know what the relationship was with the deceased or how close they were. Sometimes the post is very telling of the impact it will have on close family members. When writing condolences there are certainly cultural and family traditions that vary. The best thing to do is to respond with sensitivity and care. Something as simple as letting them know you are thinking of them is nice.
These days sending “thoughts and prayers” can get viewed as a passive way of doing nothing. For some people it does mean a lot. Take into consideration the beliefs of those affected and respond in line with what gives them peace. More than anything letting someone know they are not alone goes a long way.
Just Don’t Do It
Death affects us all differently. We grieve in different ways and express ourselves differently. Some may feel a big post about your grief is necessary for your own grief and healing. It is so important to be respectful of those closest to the one who has died. If you are not a close relative it is a good idea to simply pay your respects and condolences on posts they have created rather than making a stand alone post yourself. Even though you may be well intentioned you never know if the entire family has been informed or if they desire more privacy on the matter.
If you find yourself needing support after the death of a loved one there is help. So many different ways to unravel your grief. Counselors, therapists and support groups are just a few. Build your support system and start to heal.