3 Funeral Etiquette Tips In The Age Of Social Media

In this day and age, it feels like everything is documented online. Here are a few tips for how to deal with the death of a friend and funeral etiquette tips to follow in regards to using social media while at the funeral.

#1 Share Your Feelings

When a friend of yours dies, it is okay to share your feelings on social media. However, if you found out the death the moment that it happens or know that you were one of the first people to know, you should wait until all close family and friends have been notified of their loved one's death before posting about it on social media.

There are few things worse than getting online and seeing a Facebook status that your relative or close friend has died before anyone had a chance to notify you of their death. Wait until you know everyone has been notified who was close to the person who passed away so that they don't have to find out about it via a social media post. Social media postings are an okay way for acquaintances to find out about someone's passing, but should not be how close family and friends find out. If you are unsure if you should post, it is always a good idea to wait.

#2 Turn Off Your Phone

Your phone can be a huge draw. It is so easy to fiddle with your phone when you are bored or feel uncomfortable. However, fiddling with your phone in the middle of a funeral service, no matter how you feel or if you rely on your phone to ease you through awkward social settings, is disrespectful. Turn off your phone or put it on airport mode, and put it away in your purse or your pocket.

The only exception to this rule is if you have to be on call for your job. In that situation, put your phone on vibrate or turn the sound off completely but keep it where you can see it if it lights up. If you are on call, you should also sit near the back or side where you can exit discretely if you need to respond to your phone.

#3 Resist Sharing

During the funeral, it is not a good idea to take pictures and tweet, Instagram, or share them in anyway. A funeral is not the same as a brunch out; your followers do not need to know every detail of your life. Don't take any photos during the funeral. However, it is okay to take pictures with other family members of friends at the funeral after the even when you are away from the main mourning area; you don't want to disrespect your friend's family members or close friends.

If, after the funeral, you want to share a thought, share a tasteful photo of you and the person who passed away. You could also share a quote or a tasteful photo, such as a flower, with a message.

When someone passes away, it is more than okay to share your memories about them via social media. Just make sure that you wait to do so until all close family and loved ones have been notified of your friend's death. Also, put your phone away during the funeral and wait to share memories and reflections until after the funeral. 

For more information about funerals, talk with local funeral home directors, such as those at Sosebee Funeral Home.