If you have a Facebook account, there’s a good chance you’ve seen countless posts paying tribute to those who have died.
But is it an appropriate way to mourn?
It’s a question Brett Williams, Tech Reporter for Mashable, raised in a recent post.
He lost his 102-year-old grandmother. He questioned whether he should post about her death and decided not to.
“I didn’t feel it was appropriate, since my 102-year-old great-grandma had never used computers, and I didn’t want to draw attention to the deeply personal matter,” he wrote.
“But my decision was superseded by another family member, who created a tribute post and tagged my profile,” Williams wrote. “I was annoyed that the decision had been taken from me, forcing me to acknowledge our collective loss on the internet.”
But he said all the comments from friends sending their condolences changed his perspective.
“Social media posts, when handled correctly, are a much more intimate, personalized obituary for a loved one than anything that would be published elsewhere. Why should I judge that? After all, the ceremony of the burial process is for the benefit of the living, not the dead,” he wrote.