Coping With Grief in the Age of Social Media

Social media is a familiar part of our everyday lives. It can make us feel more connected, yet at times perhaps more isolated. This paradox can feel especially true if you might have recently lost a loved one. You may have hundreds or thousands of friends or followers online, but only wish to speak to a few intimate relationships about your loss. You may even feel overwhelmed by the many online messages during such times. However, there are some benefits to social media that might hopefully make your grieving process a little easier. Keep reading for more information about coping with grief in the age of social media.

Coping With Grief in the Age of Social Media

Reaching Out

Connecting with people when you’re processing grief can be difficult. It is common for some to want to isolate after recently losing a loved one. With social media, people can still stay connected while they’re taking care of themselves. It can also be a helpful platform to share information about someone’s passing. While we historically had more reliance on obituary notices in the newspaper (which is still a common practice) applications such as Facebook and Instagram can aid in telling others of your loss. You can also post fundraiser links or share a donation in honor of your loved one. Remember, Your sharing might be a source of comfort to others. In these ways, social media can be a very helpful tool.

Accessing Memories

The digital age has changed the way in which we might preserve our memories. Photos can now be stored on our phones, on our apps, and in the cloud. These easily accessed memories can be a blessing when we’ve lost someone. You won’t need to worry as much about keeping photos of them safe, as they’ll be preserved digitally. This access also allows memories to be easily shared with others. These reminders can sometimes be difficult during the grieving period. You may be feeling particularly strong one day when an app reminds you of your loved one with a photo, and you might suddenly be overcome with sadness. Importantly, try to breathe through the moment, and allow yourself the space to process any feelings that may arise. If you’re feeling fragile or not ready to look at photos and memories just yet, it’s okay. You can disable these reminders on your apps as well as your devices or perhaps choose to stay off social media for some time. 

Take Your Time

Social media can be a powerful source of distraction. Pay attention to what your particular needs may be in each stage of your grief journey. Listen to a song, read a book, watch a movie, take care of yourself. Social media will be there if or when you’re ready to return to it. You are not required to publicly grieve. Have compassion for yourself and others. Take your time. 

We appreciate you taking the time to read our thoughts on coping with grief in the age of social media. We hope you found it helpful. Be well.

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