Social Media Etiquette for Announcing a Death in the Digital Age

By Seasons | February 18, 2020


Death in the digital age can come with a lot of uncertainty. Most people are overwhelmed with the responsibility of announcing and mourning a death on social media, and trying to figure out all the unwritten social norms and etiquette. 

When someone has just experienced the death of a loved one, crafting a perfectly worded status announcing that loss might be the last thing on their mind. In this blog we’ve outlined practices to avoid when announcing or reacting to a death on social media and have provided three status templates for you to use when announcing a death.

Don’t share the news before the core family

It is customary for close family members to be the first to announce the death publicly. Sharing the news yourself can be considered bad etiquette. Once the direct family has shared the news then you are free to begin sharing your condolences.

Don’t use another communication method to contact the family if the announcement was made on social media

It’s best to respect their privacy and limit all messages to the social media platform on which the announcement was posted. Flooding a newly grieving person with text messages or calls after reading their status on social media not only overwhelms the person but may be more than they can handle at that time.

Don’t ask questions publicly

It’s okay to leave your condolences on death announcement statuses but it’s best to leave any questions for a later time. Send a message rather than publicly posting comments that are personal and lengthy. The family will read and respond to them when they have a chance and feel ready to do so.

Status Templates:

  • It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of our beloved husband/wife and father/mother [name] on [date]. A small family memorial service was held on [date]. Survived by his loving wife/husband [name] and his children [name] and grandchildren
  • The [name] family announces with great sadness the loss of their beloved father/mother [name] on [date]. A funeral service will be held on [date] at [time] at the [location]
  • Our family is deeply saddened to inform you that [name] died peacefully [day of week] night. As many of you know, she/he has been suffering for some time now. We are relieved that her death was painless and surrounded by family. Her funeral will be held on [day of week] at the [funeral home name] in [location] at [time].
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