Nowadays, many of us use social media in our day-to-day lives. It’s used to post news about an engagement, or to announce the birth of a child. Some even use it to get in touch with old school friends they’ve lost contact with over the years. But it can also act as a platform to share the news that a loved one has passed.
If you have recently lost someone close to you, there’s no pressure to post about the death on social media. Sharing the news online is a very personal decision and you should only do it if you feel comfortable. To help you decide if posting about a death on social media is right for you, we have created a short guide.
What are the rules for dealing with death on social media?
There are no set “rules” when it comes to posting about death on social media. The main thing to guide you is how you personally feel about it – do you feel comfortable sharing the news in this way? You should also consider the people who will read the posts or tweets – is it the right thing for them? We recommend sharing the news with close friends and family members in person, or over the phone before posting anything online.
What do you say on social media when someone dies?
Again, what you say is entirely down to you. Some people like to keep it formal, whereas others will share a memory or photo of their loved one. Whichever route you choose to go down, we suggest the following:
- Keep it simple – a traditional death announcement includes the person’s full name, dates of birth and death, location of death, and details about the funeral/memorial service. Alternatively, you may wish to write a more sentimental post.
- Be considerate – whatever you choose to write, consider the people that will be reading it. Will anyone be offended by what you have written? Is the post respectful to your loved one? Would you want to read this post yourself?
- Remember your audience – some people prefer not to read about the death of a friend or family member on social media so you may wish to include a ‘warning message’ at the top i.e. This post contains upsetting news.
- Pick your timing – there is never a good time to share sad news, but it’s best to wait at least 24 hours to allow time for close friends and family to be told first.
- Use the sharing settings – once something is on social media it can be difficult to control who sees it. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow you to adjust the privacy settings so you can choose who sees the post.
What is the etiquette for family members posting on social media?
If they feel comfortable, bereaved family members may wish to post an announcement or memorial post on social media. It’s common etiquette to wait a day or two before posting, as this will help ensure all family members know about the death first. Again, we recommend keeping the post simple and considerate.
What is the etiquette for funeral attendees posting on social media?
If you’re attending a funeral and want to post about it online, it can be a good idea to check with the close family first. This is a difficult time and they may prefer you didn’t discuss the death on social media. They may, instead, direct you to an online tribute page which they have set up.
How to invite people to a funeral on social media
If you want to share the details of your loved one’s funeral service in a social media post, you should include:
- Date and time of the service
- Location of the service
- Information about how to donate to a memorial fund (if relevant)
Lastly, how to stream a funeral service
You may want to stream a loved one’s funeral service online so more people can attend “virtually”. There are a number of public platforms that can facilitate this such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook Live. Or it can be worth speaking to your local funeral director about whether they can accommodate this special request within their funeral services.
If you’ve just lost a loved one and need some guidance on making the funeral arrangements, please reach out to your local funeral director at Funeral Partners where our friendly team will take you through the process, answer any questions, and accommodate special requests that you might have.
Funeral Partners is a widely respected brand with over 200 funeral homes across the UK and many years of experience, with some of their funeral homes arranging funeral services since 1712. They have a friendly, approachable and helpful team that are ready to provide guidance 24/7 to navigate you through this difficult time.