Don’t Suck At Facebook #385: Death, Dying, And The Facebook Notification

Your Digital Identity Is Likely Making You Depressed

The latest installment of Social News Daily‘s “Don’t Suck At Facebook” series is a weighty one, inspired by a post on the popular Facebook page “God,” addressing the issue of death, tragedy, and other bad news in a social media adapted world.

You can’t really tell people they suck at Facebook when they’re enduring grief, and you certainly can’t expect every tragedy to remain secret forever. Inevitably, we will learn of some deaths on Facebook, and that itself is not the end of the world.

Yesterday, “God” posted this commandment:

Post by God.

And we’d also go so far as to say that text messages following a tragedy are indeed sometimes another inevitability — if it’s bad enough, you may not even possess the composure to speak, but also you may be obligated to pass the news on.

However, on Facebook, there’s the small issue of “need to know” notifications and what’s imperative here is making sure that anyone who is in that group is informed (or a reasonable attempt is made) before a wider circle is looped in to the news.

Death and tragedy will suck regardless. But to open up Facebook and learn someone near and dear to you has suddenly been taken (if this sort of thing cannot be prevented) can be gravely upsetting, and as such, we should always try to deliver bad news one on one when possible to ensure no one whose only goal today was to play Papa Pear Saga instead learns a good friend came to an untimely end.

While we wouldn’t say you suck at Facebook if you make this mistake in grief, it’s good to keep in mind that a tragedy will ripple outward and affect everyone — so like police have often done, try to keep your mentions quiet until all next of kin have been informed.



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