Think Before Posting Reports of a Death on Social Media
In light of recent events, this article asking you to think before posting reports of someone's death on social media offers great advice.
The author of the piece outlines details surrounding the death of her husband, including receiving messages and phone calls offering support, asking questions, and expressing condolences within an hour of his passing. Don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with reaching out to someone who recently lost a loved one - the issue here is that she hadn't even had a chance to inform close relatives and friends of his death. She hadn't been given a chance to even arrange transport of his body from the hospital to a funeral home. Someone heard about the death and took it upon themselves to post it to social media.
Can you imagine opening your Instagram to see a photo of your sibling or best friend with an RIP message next to their photo? Is that the way you'd want to find out about a loved one's death?
Before you post someone's death to social media, wait until a family member posts, and then share that post (or create your own post). No one wants to be blindsided by opening their Facebook page to be greeted with that kind of news.
Will it happen to some? Of course. If you haven't spoken to that person in a while, or if the family wasn't aware that you were friends, you may not find out through the "normal" channels.
Think before posting. Have empathy. Imagine it was your loved one that had passed away.
Give the family time to spread the word.