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.