Ten Reasons To Keep Your Yapper Shut On Facebook For At Least 24 Hours After Someone Dies

We have had so many wonderful advances in technology the last couple decades, but as a society we have been lacking in updated etiquette. For example, if you decide to make a phone call from a bathroom stall, that makes other people feel uncomfortable.  Years ago I was using the bathroom when the next person over said, “Hi!”  Knowing I was the only other woman there and never imagining someone would call another person from the toilet, I awkwardly replied, “Hi ……” I was thinking, “Are you seriously starting a conversation with me?  RIGHT NOW?”  They probably remember me as the crazy lady who thought they were talking to her.  I wonder what the recipient thought when they heard the toilet flush?  That was me outing her as a toilet caller.

One of the worst situations I have encountered though is the lack of sensitivity when it comes to people passing away and the method by which the news travels.  In one instance, I was very blessed to have a friend call me when she realized I didn’t hear yet about our friend’s passing, but horrified to see that her extended relatives were already posting, “RIP cuz!” on her Facebook wall only an hour or so after her death.  In fact, I think at least one of her children had not been informed yet of the devastating news.

I will now eloquently state ten reasons why you should keep your yapper shut for at least 24 hours on Facebook after someone dies.

1.  The deceased’s closest loved ones should be informed in the most personal way possible.  If my friend’s children had been using Facebook to check on her after her trip to the hospital, they would have seen, “RIP cuz!”  I can’t imagine a worse way to find out.  Don’t assume that everyone can be located instantly.  They could be overseas, in class, at the movies, sleeping, etc.  In my opinion, you should hear it from someone you love so you can cry together.

2.  It should be the job of one of their closest relatives to make a general announcement when they decide it is appropriate and are concerned not everyone will hear and be able to pay their respects at the memorial service.

3.  I’m no psychic, but I’m 99.999% sure your deceased friend is not in Heaven wondering why you haven’t posted anything on their wall about their death.  Definitely don’t “poke” them.  Dear Facebook, it’s a little disturbing when you give me “poke suggestions” and you include my deceased friends.

4.  You’re not trying to scoop the story, are you?  Like you want to show you’re one of the elite who got to find out almost immediately about their death?  Because that’s how it can come across.  Instead, maybe send a private message of support to a relative who you know definitely knows about the tragic news.

5.  Common sense.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

6.  Your public declaration of your love for them can wait.  Their family will appreciate any kind words for years to come.  They will wish on many occasions that people would acknowledge their loved one’s existence and memory instead of avoiding any talk of them.

7.  You could make some personal phone calls to others who would want to know and maybe emphasize how maybe they should not post it on Facebook.  It will be appreciated.

8.  Do I really need an 8th reason?

9.  No.  No I don’t.

10.  Show some restraint so as not to be insensitive.  Keep posting pictures of what you ate for lunch, kitties, doggies, and inspirational posters.

A friend of mine was upset to learn this week about the sudden death of her dear cousin through Facebook.  Please, let’s not let this happen to another person.


What’s Up With the Dead Tulip Pictures?

Sarah TulipsLast year a friend made a Facebook post that I found confusing.  She said, “I’m not very happy with my friends who pretended to like the tulip festival.”

What I pictured was a group of friends who were taken to the festival and politely tried to act like they enjoyed it when they really didn’t.  Was their frolicking not convincing?  I asked what she meant and it turns out she was referring to the many pictures people were posting involving their families happily posing in front of what seemed like endless fields of tulips.  No one took pictures of the hours stuck in traffic, the lack of parking, or made note that there weren’t really as many tulips as there appeared, so she was eager to experience The Tulip Festival with her own family, which consisted of toddlers who didn’t take kindly to a four hour drive there and a four hour drive back.  It turned out the parking was far away and the long walk wasn’t safe for their children.

In other words, it was a nightmare and not at all what they expected.  A while later, I was at a friend’s house and noticed her wilting tulips in the front yard.  I thought, “Maybe she should have taken pictures by these tulips that are one minute away from her?  Too bad they’re dying.”

Being the weird person that I am, I did an impromptu photo shoot where I pretended to like the dead tulips. I called the album “Late to the Tulip Festival”.  It helps that a have a friend who is usually eager to support me in my weird endeavors.

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How do you distinguish a real smile from a fake smile? When that person looks like they have to poo.

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Life is short. Take time to smell the dead tulips.

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This is where I pretend to have just realized the tulips are in fact dead, and not beautiful at all.

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Years ago I did actually go to the festival with my family in 2009, but in the interest of not being misleading, I shared the good, the bad, and the Gilbert Gottfried faces (what my family calls the face one makes when you try to smile with the sun in your eyes).  We even included the traffic and our speedometer as we tried to get there.  Note the many imperfect poses with our imperfect family.  I don’t remember what that morning was like, but I’m sure it included, “PUT ON SOMETHING DECENT!!!  WE’RE TAKING PICTURES!!!”

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Gilbert. Gottfried.

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My favorite part was coming back from the ride into the fields and discovering that our 8-month-old daughter had held perfectly still for her face to be painted. And it matched her cute little outfit!

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It was a cute idea.

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My church’s leaders recently suggested that we be authentic online.  I think this situation is just one good reason why. My dead tulip poses are now becoming a tradition.  This year I included a garden gnome.  Of course, if I were truly dedicated, I would drive out to the tulip fields.Garden Gnome and Sarah