Notifying friends and family that a loved one has passed is a dilemma that family members have long had to deal with when someone close to them passes. As technology continues to advance, social media platforms offer another option as a means to contact and reach out to others in an attempt to let those who would want to know about the passing, know. Of course, as with most things related to social media, it can be a slippery slope and difficult to traverse.
One aspect is the return to approaching death as a more public social event, as it had been throughout history until more recent times. When families all lived in close proximity to each other, learning of a death was almost instantaneous. As people started to move farther apart, newspaper obituaries and then personal phone calls became the norm, and has been for over a century. But in this age of social media the question becomes should you post about the passing of someone you know in an effort to get the word out to family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances or anyone who might care to know?
If it’s been decided that social media would be an appropriate means of announcement, keep the deceased and the family in mind when sharing the news, while keeping the information as private and respectful as possible. The best time to do this is usually after the obituary has been written and published, so you can simply share that obituary.
Though it’s definitely a more efficient way to notify others, one problem with sharing delicate news this way is that social media posts can often be misread or misconstrued. It’s an easy and convenient idea to connect people with the funeral home’s online remembrance page, where they can find out when and where the viewing, funeral and interment will be, as well as leave memories and condolences for the family. Some people choose to trust the responsibility to another family member or a close friend to take care of social media posts on their behalf. When doing so, remember to discuss with them what you’re willing to share and let them know that they can ignore posts or questions that fall outside those boundaries, or are disrespectful of your wishes.
The bottom line is that since technology is such a part of our lives, using social media as a way of notification and information when a loved one has passed is perfectly acceptable these days. If doing so works for you, embrace it and keep these tips in mind.