Grieving on Social Media

It is a choice…to choose to grieve publicly or privately. Navigating social media can be a treacherous and and slippery slope on a good day, so proceed carefully and with forethought.

There are pitfalls to social media when grieving. Please be warned that there will always be critics and fall out to your activity on social media. People that think you should not be happy so soon, or have been sad too long, or shouldn’t be sharing so much, or not sharing enough. You need to decide what is best for you and then let go of the rest. So much of social media centers around what others think, I so screw them! It is nobody’s business but yours what YOU choose to do with YOUR social media. Just remember that social media is just that, it is social, so you KNOW that there is an audience for whatever to do.

People choose to use their social media pages and platforms in different ways. I suggest choosing a lane and then employing some discipline to stick to it. 🙂 Some paths you may choose:

  • For fun, browsing entertainment, connection with family and friends
  • As a diary, timeline of their lives and experiences
  • For news, updates, debates
  • for business, work, etc

Just to give you an idea, here is what I have chosen to do:

  • For fun, browsing entertainment, connection with family and friends
  • Not so much as a diary of the drama in my life, I do however share significant updates (like my daughter getting her driver’s license, or the adoption of a kitten). I have a separate page for this blog, JenR8ion Widow, and DO share that to my page.
  • For news, updates, debates – I do scroll through news articles, and occasionally glance at a debate on a friend’s page, however I chosen NOT to engage in political debate, religious views, or other controversial topics on my page or in conversation.
  • For business, work, etc. I used to use my page for work in the past, but have chosen not to continue in this fashion.
  • I have chosen to join several groups, some are funny and share jokes, others are support groups for widows, and still others are alumni pages, memory pages, parenting groups, etc. The support group pages have closed audiences and I consider those safe spaces for grief sharing, getting and giving support, and grief-venting.
  • I may post an article or share a post, but I have decided to use social media more for fun and try to keep it light.

My way is certainly not the right way, it is just the right way for me and not by any means a template for anyone else.

Social media can be a great way to find solace, support, encouragement. You can post positive things and receive positive feedback for a sometimes needed boost. You can read happy stories from friends and family, or catch up on current events in the news, or you can laugh at funny clips, jokes, or memes. Social media can be a great time-suck that helps distract you from all the drama or chaos you may be experiencing. It can also have a down side. A dark side. “Don’t go over to the dark side, Luke.”

I caution you to be mindful of the content you choose to pay attention to, and to not take social media too personally. Avoid the pitfalls:

  • Profiles are NOT reality, people post content for themselves, some post all happiness, joy, and accomplishments, others post drama and negativity. All are generating or trying to generate attention and response for themselves. Do not allow yourself to feel down or jealous of the happy perfect lives you think your friends are living (I assure you, they have drama too). And on the flip side, do not get caught up in the negativity and bids for attention by the drama posters. More often than not, they are looking for pity and attention, not help or advisement. Both of these scenarios have the potential to bring you down. Enjoy the happy posts, and wish everyone well.
  • If you don’t want negativity, eliminate the haters from your pages, YES, even family. I am not saying eliminate them from your life (sometimes that is impossible), but you can certainly eliminate them from your social media. You do not need to put up with anything on your page you don’t want to be there. Edit your page. You own it, take control.
  • If political debate and others views are bringing you down, don’t entertain those ideas on your page. Unfollow people whose views you no longer wish to see, or better yet, hide them. There are always options to remove the clutter, blocking, hiding, unfollowing, and even a snooze option…
  • Know in advance that people will be seeing what you post, and be prepared for comments and viewpoints that may not be shared by you.
  • If you are using your social media to engage in business or for work, you may want to have a separate work profile. Think about if you want your professional life to intermingle with your social life. Do you want or care if your professional contacts see the views of your friends, and vice versa? Is your page, professional-worthy or does it depict righteous party scenes and political viewpoints that you may not want your Linked-In audience to see?

Who would have thought, all those years ago, when we first joined social media, that it would develop into such a powerful and dynamic force in our lives, something more than connecting or re-connecting friends and family? But here we are, in the world where social media can connect friends, family, share news stories, connect strangers in support groups, promote businesses, and so much more! Social media can do so many positive things, but when grieving, I suggest you give it some serious forethought and how best to use social media to promote your growth and healing.

Rant over.

Published by jenr8ion widow

I am a mother of a teenager. I am a career woman. I am a remarried widow. I am struggling everyday to hold it all together, raise talented and gifted child, and come out a better person in the long run. This is a chronicle or rant of my journey. Many will judge, many will criticize, but not many can say they walked in my shoes.

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