The number of people using social media continues to rise in Australia, and as of January 2017, there were 16 million active Facebook users just in this country. Unfortunately, not all social media users bring common sense to the table when it comes to posted subjects. For example, more than one person has taken a selfie with the deceased, and this particular situation leaves funeral directors unimpressed. You haven't been on social media very long, so learning now the correct etiquette about how to deal with death in the electronic age means you're unlikely to get in the bad books of your relatives when the situation does occur.
It is not your job to break the news
Sometimes, it almost seems to be a race to see who can make a 'rest in peace' post first when it comes to the death of a celebrity. But, your family member is not someone who should be discussed with random disregard. It is disrespectful to the balance of your family for you to make a post when not everyone knows that someone they loved has died.
While the counter-argument is that social media is a way to get information out to people quickly, this should only be true if it is your position to share the information. The golden rule to follow is if you are the next of kin, then let the rest of the immediate family know by phone or other personal means before you make a post on social media. If you are a distant relative, wait until all the immediate family know about the death before you say something publicly.
Be careful what you spread
Sharing memories about you and the deceased after they have passed away is one thing, but sharing intimate personal memories is not okay. For example, if the cause of death was a particularly sensitive subject like suicide, the immediate family may not wish for these details to be made public. Just because you know information does not mean you need to share it with everyone.
If you have doubts about whether something you want to say is too much information, ask one of the people close to the deceased for their advice. That way, you have a second opinion before you get yourself in trouble with the rest of the family.
Finally, don't take funeral selfies or photos of the open casket while at the service. While you may not see anything wrong with this practice, the older generation who grew up without social media is not going to be entertained by your actions.
For more information, contact local funeral services.