To continue our series on how to deal with someone's passing on social media, here are the final six rules.
Rule #6: Respond on the Medium From Which You Heard the News. If you found out about the death on Facebook and not through a personal call, email or text, it was the choice of the family. So best to respond in the same way. With a loss, especially when it is sudden, the family can be bombarded with texts and calls. They probably want to avoid having to respond directly to each individual, so it is best to respect that. Also, keep in mind that again, it is their choice as to what social media platforms to use to share the news. If you learned of the passing on Facebook, avoid sharing on Twitter, Instagram or other means.
Rule #7: Decide Whether to Keep the Departed's Online Profiles. There is really no right or wrong way to handle the online profile of someone who is deceased. But again, this should be the family's choice. Some decide to leave the profile accessible, sometimes using it as a memorial page.
Rule#8: Make Your Own Wishes Known. It is really never too soon, to make your wishes known about how you want your passing to be managed on social media. Just as it is a good idea to consider pre-planning your funeral, you can also share your thoughts with your loved ones regarding this issue. It is a gift to those you love, to let them know your wishes, making one less decision that is in their hands at your time of passing.
Rule #9: Avoid Platitudes. Just as when you send a sympathy card or speak to someone after they have experienced a loss, chose your words carefully. There are many phrases and platitudes used when someone passes, not all necessarily bring comfort. Honesty, sincerity and simplicity is usually the best way to go.
Rule #10: Check Your Privacy Settings. This is always a good practice to do every so often but when you are sharing very personal news, it is good to know who the information is going to. Have a look at your privacy settings on all devices. They may be different on your phone, laptop or tablet.
Rule #11: Don't Give In To A Grief Olympics. You've seen it before, when the comments on someone's passing, gives way to a stream of long and detailed comments. Best to avoid using the platform to express your own grief, rather than sending sincere condolences to the family. Express how you are dealing with the loss in person or by sending a card to the family.
The above information summarizes an article by Kimberly Hiss for the Reader's Digest. Access the full article here.
How often have you found out about the loss of a friend via social media, especially Facebook? For those who are active on this platform, there are some guidelines that may be helpful in determining the right way to handle posts about someone's passing. Author Kimberly Hiss, in an article for Reader's Digest, offered 11 Etiquette Rules for Dealing with Death on Social Media. Our next two blogs will summarize these suggestions.
Rule #1: There are no set ways to deal with death on social media. There is no right way, or wrong way to post about the passing of a loved one. It is truly a personal choice of the family who is grieving. So, whether or not you agree with the way the family is managing the loss on social media, it is best to take your cue from them. Whether or not you choose to engage on social media is your choice.
Rule #2: Let the closest loved ones post first. When you hear the news of someone's death, the instant reaction is often to tell others who share the acquaintance. But best to hold back on that reaction and let the family members make the decision as to if, when and how they want to announce the passing of their loved ones. They should be the ones to determine what information is shared and what social media platforms used.
Rule #3: A Helpful Way to Streamline Logistics. Once the death has been announced, social media has the power to reach people across the world. It can be an immensely useful tool to spread the word about funeral or memorial services, charitable donations or details on the passing. If you choose to share the information, be cognizant of your audience.
Rule #4: Get Your Facts Straight. Before you comment or share information, it is best to do your due diligence and check your sources. If the post has come directly from the family, your information should be accurate, but it you are sharing someone else's post, it is probably best to fact check by visiting the initial source page or feed to ensure you have all the right details.
Rule #5: Be Careful With Those Details. Be sure not to create your own story or interpretation of someone else's information. If there are details are left out about the death, that was probably intended. It isn't your place to provide information that the family chose not to include. Always let the family or core group surrounding the loss provide the details.
Part two of this series will post on September 19th.