Jeff speaks with Nancy Loeffler of Being With Grief on the use of the social media in the grieving process. Nancy provides advice on how to be supportive of those grieving through the use of social media.
How do you respond to those affected by a loss that choose to share their feelings on social media?
Respond to their posts with caution. Many people will use social media in response to their grief in a way that is out of character. When people post their feelings publically, they are opening themselves up to comments and advice. While well-meaning, people’s comments can be painful and inappropriate. If you wish to be supportive, it is best to private message them. If you choose to post your response publically, only offer your kind thoughts and love.
What are some things that one should never post or respond to in a post?
Do NOT give advice on what they should do or should not have done to have kept their loved one from dying. The person is already thinking that, so it is not helpful in the moment. Those grieving are just trying to work through their feelings. Therefore, saying that “someone is in a better place” or “It’s God’s will” is not a good idea. If they mention one or another of these, it is alright to agree and acknowledge that you have heard them. Simply follow their lead. Even if they ask for advice, you are opening your public comments up to someone else disagreeing with your advice and entering into a conversation that is neither helpful nor appropriate at that time.
Think before you respond.
Social media can be helpful to some in the grief process, but only with deference and caution. Be careful with the timing of your posts. You also do not want to be the person who informs family members on social media about their loved one’s death (unless instructed to do so).
To learn more about the grief process and the support available, please contact Nancy at Being With Grief: (919) 500-3848 or www.BeingWithGrief.com.