Social media – sites and services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc – are the way many people keep in touch. The news of a death is often shared on social media, sometimes before some friends or family members have found out in other ways.
You may need to decide what to say about a death on social media, and how to deal with someone’s accounts after they have died.
Social media sites are also often used to collect tributes to someone who has died – this can be comforting, but in some circumstances also distressing.
Announcements on social media
The news of someone’s death is always shocking. In today’s world it is possible for news to spread very quickly. When someone dies in traumatic circumstances, it might not always be possible to prevent the news leaking being shared online. Therefore it is best not to delay when informing close relatives and friends that someone has died.
If you have found out that someone has died by seeing it on social media it can be very upsetting. Remember that people in shock may not always be thinking clearly about the effect on others, especially if they are used to sharing things as they happen. Try to speak to someone in person to find out what has happened.
Once close friends and relatives have been informed, you may decide to make an announcement on social media, particularly if the person who died had a large circle of friends and acquaintances who you might not be able to contact in other ways. If possible make sure that close friends and family agree about what should be said – it can be a source of argument within the family [ 1.10] about how much it is appropriate to share.