Social media can be used for sharing all kinds of information with others from current events to personal accomplishments and family memories. Some even used this method of communication to announce the loss of a loved one and find support.
A few years ago, the passing of a loved one was announced through word of mouth and in written obituaries but today, many use Facebook for these types of announcements. Sending a group text or a message through social media is a much simpler way to announce the passing and funeral arrangements of a family member than to spend several hours making telephone calls. It can even be a part of the grieving process as memories and condolences can be shared within seconds.
There are also groups that have been created to offer support to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one like the Bereavement/ Grieving Support Group and others that offer assistance for specific losses like the loss of a mother, a child or a pet. For many, these groups help to foster conversations about death and grief that for some, might not be possible otherwise. To be able to share with someone in writing can sometimes make it a lot easier to be transparent and to find someone who has shared a similar experience can be very relieving. Since today, Canadians spend an average of 9 hours and 50 minutes per day on social media (Time Spent With Media 2019), it makes sense that these types of groups have been created and that those who are grieving turn to social media for help and comfort.
A Facebook page can also be converted into a memorial page. According to the Facebook Help Community, once an account is memorialized, friends and family can go there to share memories. The word “Remembering” is placed next to the person’s name on these accounts, the memorialized profile no longer appears in public spaces like suggestions for people you may know or birthday reminders and no one can log into these accounts.
Social media has become such a big part of the way we interact and search for information today. It is also a quick and useful way to share information and find the support that may not be available otherwise.